Indian Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday said that all infiltrators would be extradited from the country by 2024 through the implementation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
This is the first time that the minister declared a deadline for the massive exercise being conducted to identify and remove illegal immigrants, especially from neighbouring Bangladesh.
Addressing a public rally in India’s poll-bound state of Jharkhand, Shah, who is also the national president of the centrally governing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), said: "All infiltrators will be thrown out from the country before 2024 by implementing NRC. It is a BJP government led by Narendra Modi and we will implement the NRC".
Shah was speaking at an election rally in Chaibasa town of Jharkhand, which witnessed the first round of the five-phase voting on 30 November. The second phase voting will take place on 7 December.
Terming it an issue of national importance, which he said, is equally important for the people of the tribal state, the BJP politician also said: “Many jawans (soldiers) of the state are involved in protecting the borders, for the security of the country”.
The exercise, monitored by the Supreme Court of India, led to the exclusion of nearly 1.9 million residents of Assam. Home Minister Shah had earlier said in parliament that the exercise will be carried out across India.
He had issued orders to dissuade authorities from harassing or detaining people excluded from the list in Assam state. He has asked all aggrieved people to appeal in foreign tribunals.
Shah is often compared to ancient India’s legendary political strategist Chanakya of the governing BJP due to his deep understanding of political arithmetic.
Reportedly, the Shah and other Assam BJP leaders are dissatisfied as a huge chunk of people who failed to make it to the list comprises Hindus. It is also being seen by many political parties as a ploy by the governing nationalist party to target Muslim immigrants.