On Monday India's northeastern state of Assam released the final draft of the highly-contentious National Register of Citizens (NRC) giving a month's time to at least four million persons who have been left off the list to produce the relevant documents to prove their Indian citizenship.
"Out of 32.9 million population of the state, which shares a border with Bangladesh and Bhutan, 28.9 million names were included in the final draft of the NRC," Shailesh Kumar, an official from the Registrar General of India said while releasing the list on Monday.
Some facts:— Ram Madhav (@rammadhavbjp) July 30, 2018
1.Registrar General of India guided by SC prepared NRC
2. 3.29 crore people claimed citizenship
3.Draft NRC cleared 2.89 crore claims as genuine
4. Rest hv time till September end for claims n corrections
5. Assam Govt helping all in d exercise.
Panic shudnt b created https://t.co/7a0ls8WKAU
Rajnath Singh, India's Minister of Home Affairs has said there is "no need to panic" as "no coercive action will be taken" and anyone can file claims and objections.
Further, Rajnath Singh has advised the State Government of Assam that no action should be initiated by the administration or the police based on the draft NRC.
"The question of referring any person to a detention center based on NRC exercise also does not arise," Singh added.
I want to emphatically say that this is only a draft and not the Final NRC. Everyone will have the opportunity to file Claims / Objections as per provision in the law. Only after the disposal of claims and objections, the Final NRC will be published. pic.twitter.com/7UweZiyvJt— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) July 30, 2018
During and after the 1971 India-Pakistan war which led to the creation of Bangladesh, several thousand Muslims, as well as Hindus from the area (erstwhile East Pakistan; now Bangladesh), crossed over to India to take permanent shelter in Assam.
The exercise is basically aimed at weeding out the Bangladeshi immigrants who have illegally settled in that part of India over the last five decades.
"The number is really shocking. We accept that the list was being prepared under the supervision of the Supreme Court but we are not ruling out the intervention of the state government. We will approach the court later," Aminul Islam, General Secretary, All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) told Sputnik.
However, an official of the Registrar General of India has refuted such claims.
"This is a historic day for India and Assam. The exercise is unparalleled in size. It is a legal process done under the direct supervision of the Supreme Court…The exercise was carried out in a transparent, fair, objective manner," Sailesh, stated.
Meanwhile, fearing communal unrest, the state administration has imposed section 144 of the Indian Criminal Procedure in seven of the state's 33 districts. Under section 144, the assembly of more than four people is prohibited.
The State govt of Assam has been asked to ensure that law & order is maintained and no one is allowed to take law into their hands and all possible arrangements are made to ensure safety and security for all.— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) July 22, 2018