Student Body Calls for Extension of NRC to Other North Eastern States



The list, which India's census chief released on Monday, excluded those unable to prove they or their parents arrived before March 1971 when Bangladesh was created. "They were subsequently repatriated or, let us say, the matter was addressed under the mutually agreed terms and jointly between the two countries".

South Asia director at Human Rights Watch Meenakshi Ganguly urged Indian authorities to act swiftly "to ensure the rights of Muslims and other vulnerable communities in Assam are protected from statelessness".

"There are grave reasons for concern that those without proper documentation will be targeted", she said, warning that "India should not become another Myanmar or United States".

As the final draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) for Assam is set to be published today, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday said it was "only a draft" and people would be given "adequate opportunity for objections".

If they can't, they are expected to have to enter into lengthy appeals process, which will leave them in limbo for years. Will they put me in a detention camp? Assam's obsession with immigrants has no parallels in the whole country. Most settled in Assam, which shares a long border with Bangladesh.

Assam, a state of 33 million people known for its lush tea estates, has for decades been racked by violence between indigenous tribes and settlers.

The BJP has seized on the issue, with Mr Shah pitching the BJP as that party standing for the rights of Indians, as opposed to its rivals who are concerned with illegal Bangladeshi immigrants. NRC is key for security of the people of the country and its citizens. "No genuine Indian citizen should have any fear", he added.

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However that is not enough for campaigners who are anxious that Muslims in Assam are being persecuted. He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a "secular and democratic leader" who would address "issues of ethnic conflicts".

The area is already extremely unstable.

Tens of thousands of Assam's Muslims fear that their names would be excluded from the NRC directory reducing them to stateless persons or illegal aliens who would be disenfranchised and thrown into prison.

Campaign group Avaaz said it "bears stark parallels with Myanmar's removal of Rohingya rights and protections".

He added: 'The worldwide community is fighting to stop a process that is alarmingly on track to potentially render millions of people stateless, and vulnerable to indefinite detention, violence or worse'.

'They are openly threatening to get rid of Muslims, and what happened to the Rohingya in Myanmar, could happen to us here'.

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