HM says no need for people from any religion to be worried about it
On the lines of Assam, National Register for Citizens (NRC) exercise will be carried out across the country soon, Home Minister Amit Shah said here on Wednesday, assuring that no one should be worried as it is just a process of getting everyone under the NRC, irrespective of their religion. He also underscored the point that there is no need for people from any religion to be worried about it.
Speaking in the Rajya Sabha, Shah said the NRC has no such provision that says that certain religions will be excluded from it. “All citizens of India irrespective of religion will figure in the NRC list. The NRC is different from the Citizenship Amendment Bill,” Shah said.
“The Assam exercise was carried out under a Supreme Court order. NRC will be carried out across the country, will be done in Assam again, no one from any religion should be worried,” he said. Some BJP-ruled States — like Uttarakhand, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand — have already announced that they will conduct Assam-like NRC exercise in their States. In the NRC final list published on August 31, over 19 lakh people were left out of the citizenship register in Assam.
Most of the people who have not produced adequate documents to prove their claims will not be declared illegal immediately, according to officials in the Government. They have the option of appealing to Foreigners’ Tribunals and subsequently approach the court.
Shah said people whose names are missing from the draft list have the right to go to tribunals, which will be constituted across Assam. He added that those who can’t afford lawyers to go to a tribunal will be provided financial help by the Assam Government.
The Modi Government plans to amend the Citizenship Act in the ongoing Winter Session of Parliament. The Citizenship Amendment Bill speeds up the process under which non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan can get Indian citizenship.
On the controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill, which seeks to provide citizenship status to non-Muslims refugees, the Home Minister said that the Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Jain, Christian, Parsi refugees should get Indian citizenship. “All refugees coming from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan on account of religious atrocities there will get citizenship (in India) under the Bill,” he said.
The Home Minister said the NRC and the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016, which lapsed on June 3, 2019, are two different issues and both should not be seen through one prism. He said the Lok Sabha had passed the Bill and the select committee had approved it, but the Lok Sabha had lapsed. “Now it will come again. It has no connection with the NRC,” he said.
There has been opposition from various political parties to the Citizenship Amendment Bill. There have been protests across the Northeastern States over the Government’s plan to table the Bill. In Assam, protesters have argued that the Citizenship Amendment Bill goes against the provisions of the Assam Accord that seek to safeguard the interests of indigenous people. There were protests and marches on Monday across seven States in the North-East against the proposed legislation.
Thursday, 21 November 2019 | PNS | New Delhi
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