India strips four millions of citizenship in Assam

Assam NRC final list released 40 lakh risk losing citizenship

PC Reuters

India says it has excluded more than 4 million people from a draft list of citizens in the north-eastern state of Assam who could not produce valid documents, a move that has sparked fears about the future of thousands in the region.

# 13:05 pm: There were people who have Aaadhar cards and passports but still their names are not in the draft list. Those whose names do not appear on the list will not be immediately deported or placed in temporary camps, the officials said. The definitive list is to be finalised in December.

A retired Indian Army officer was among more than 40 lakh people left out of Assam's final draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) which was made public on Monday, deepening concerns over an allegedly faulty process to weed out illegal migrants.

The apprehension that the NRC being upgraded, and the criteria set to be included in it, is a political stratagem to consolidate the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) majority vote bank in Assam is underlined by several factors.

There are NRC Sewa Kendras (NSK) that one could visit to check their names on the list.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday lashed out at the BJP-led Centre over Assam's National Register of Citizens (NRC), calling it an attempt to isolate Bengalis, Biharis and Hindus out of the state.

People wait to check their names on the National Register of Citizens (NRC) draft list at a centre in Assam's Nagaon district.

According to The Economic Times, the Muslim population of Assam grew by 77 percent in a 20-year period from 1971, while the number of Hindus in the region rose by only 42 percent.

This issue has triggered anti-foreigner agitation in the state.

The Assam Accord, which was signed between the government and the protesters, was able to bring a consensus on the eligibility criteria for citizenship.

The list aims to identify every resident who can demonstrate roots in the state before March 1971.

"No genuine Indian citizen will be devoid of their citizenship rights", Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, said in a tweet. They will have opportunity for making claims and objections.

NRC Coordinator Prateek Hajela said that people can apply for these claims, objections and corrections from August 30 to September 28. This means that the names of 40.07 lakh have been left out. "We will provide assistance to them to file claims and objections". "So, there is no reason to fear". The NRC of 1951 was challenged in the Gauhati High Court, which in 1970 ruled that it was not admissible as evidence of citizenship.

Almost 2.48 lakh doubtful voters (D-Voters) and their descendants, siblings were included in the 40 lakh left out candidates.

India's Election Commission introduced the concept of "D" voters in 1997 under which a person's citizenship rights are stripped.

Around 90,000 people were declared foreigners between 1985-2016.

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