July 16, 2024

Bustan Daily

Trusted Source for Online News Publishing

Four million in Indian state risk losing citizenship

2 min read

India on Monday effectively stripped four million
people in Assam of citizenship , sparking fears of mass
deportations of Muslims from the northeastern state .
A new draft register of citizens includes only those able
to prove they were in Assam before 1971 , when
millions fled Bangladesh ’ s war of independence into
the state , and their descendants .
Critics say it is the latest move by the right – wing
government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to
bolster India’ s Hindu majority at the expense of
minorities . India will hold a national election next
year . The Assam government has brought in 25 , 000 extra
security force members from outside the state in case
of trouble . News of the draft register sparked
opposition protests in the national parliament, forcing
the adjournment of upper – chamber hearings for the
day .
Just over four million of the more than 30 million
people who applied to be on the list were excluded
from the draft , said Shailesh , the registrar general of
India , who uses one name .
“ No genuine Indian citizens need to worry as there will
be ample opportunities given to them to enlist their
names in the final list , ” he told a news conference in
Assam’ s biggest city Guwahati .
He said appeals could be made under “ well – laid – down
procedures ” starting August 30 . The definitive list is to
be finalised in December .
“ We are going to provide assistance to anyone whose
names are not included in the document and whoever
wishes to file a claim and objection in this regard, ”
Shailesh added .
Modi ’ s Bharatiya Janata Party ( BJP) won control of
Assam in 2016 after promising to expel illegal
immigrants from mainly Muslim Bangladesh and
protect the rights of indigenous groups .
Assam, where one third of the population is Muslim , is
the only Indian state to compile a register of citizens.

Migrant
fears –
Hundreds of thousands fled to India from Bangladesh
during its 1971 war of independence from Pakistan .
Most settled in Assam , which shares a long border with
Bangladesh .
Migrants have since been accused of illegally entering
the state and taking land and jobs , causing tensions
with locals .
Rights groups have criticised the government move,
saying deletion from citizenship lists was similar to
Myanmar ’ s removal of rights and protections for its
Rohingya community in 1982 .

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