Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has come up yet again with her concerns on the NRC (National Register Of Citizens) that registers all the citizens of India irrespective of their family origin. The first draft of the NRC was released on Sunday midnight. The National Register of Citizens is an exercise to check the illegal Bangladeshi infiltration in Assam.
So far the draft has published names of 1.9 crore persons out of 3.29 crore applicants have been approved and the document verifications for the rest of the applications filed is still in process.
According to NRC state coordinator Prateek Hajela as the verification process gets completed in the days to come more and more people will attain the citizenship status.
For the latest updates on NRC status all the residents of Assam had to produce documents to prove their presence in the country earlier than March 24th 1971.
Assam has been grappling with the issue of citizenship and illegal immigrants ever since it merged into British India in 1826. People from various regions of India mostly aboriginals were brought in from the adjoining states of Chhota Nagpur plateau to work in the tea plantaions during the mid 19th century.
Even people who moved in before partition were considered as natural citizens of India. It was in 1951 after the major influx of Hindus and Muslims from East Pakistan that the Assam government took the major decision to prepare the National Register of Citizens.
However, as time evolved the intolerance built up among the native Assamese against the migrants as they were threatened of losing their jobs and resources to the immigrants.
Recalling the grim past of the massive ‘Bongal Kheda’ campaign in which Bengalis were evicted from Assam in the 60s and 70s, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee raised her concern fearing the possibility of an exodus of Bengali population once again.
Referring to the NRC documentation issue as one of BJP’s ploys to drive the Bengali community out of Assam and playing “divisive politics”, Ms Banerjee stated, “It has made a comeback. Bengalis are being driven out of Assam. It will have an impact on Bengal because our state shares a border with Assam. We can’t be mere onlookers. I warn BJP not to play with fire. We will not spare them if people come under attack.”
To protest this move the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee requested all the TMC MPs to stage a protest outside the parliament house. TMC MP Derek retorted, “We will register our protest against such discrimination outside Parliament. We will also take up the issue in both the Houses,”.
However responding to the opposition’s allegations of the centre conspiring against the Bengali community in Assam, Union Home Minister lend a fitted reply.
He assured that the NRC work is carried out under the supervision of Supreme Court and those names excluded will be included in the second draft.
“This is a baseless allegation that they are trying to throw someone out. If someone’s name has been missed, it will be included in the list,” Rajnath Singh said.
Meanwhile, Assam police have registered a case against CM Mamata Banerjee for her alleged accusation on the centre conspiring to push out Bengalis from Assam.