Exercise to update National Register of Citizens to be carried out across India, no one from any religion should be worried, Union home minister announces in Parliament
Guwahati: Assam will have to go though the citizen’s list or National Register of Citizens (NRC) again, as Union home minister Amit Shah announced in Parliament on Wednesday, asserting that “no one from any religion should be worried”.
Speaking in Rajya Sabha, the Union home minister said that the NRC will be carried out across the country and will be done in Assam again.
Shah also stated that people whose names were missing from the NRC can approach tribunals and the Assam government will even provide financial help.
Meanwhile, welcoming the statement made by Shah on the floor of Parliament, Assam finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the state government had requested the Centre to reject the NRC published recently in state.
Addressing media persons, Sarma on Wednesday said even the party has urged Shah to dismiss the NRC in the current form. “If the cut-off year is 1971, then it should be the same for all States. We are not asking to scrap the Assam Accord,” he added.
According to NRC officials, the government says that people, who haven’t produced adequate documents to prove their claims, will not be declared illegal immediately. They will have the option of appealing to Foreigner’s Tribunal and subsequently approach the courts.
The Union home minister also told Parliament that the NRC will be implemented nationwide and that no person, no matter what religion he or she followed, needed to be afraid.
The updated final NRC in Assam, which validates bona fide Indian citizens, has left out over 19 lakh applicants.
Ahead of the Union home minister’s comment, the United States Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) on Tuesday, expressing concerns over the NRC exercise, said that close to two million long-time residents of Assam may soon be deemed stateless and alleged that they are being stripped of their citizenship without a fair, transparent, and well-regulated process.