• Wednesday, Nov 14, 2018
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Assam opposition leader supports second chance for people excluded from NRC

  • Published at 07:57 pm August 8th, 2018
INDIA-RIGHTS-CITIZENSHIP-ASSAM-NRC
Activists from the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) shout slogans in support of the publication of the first complete draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and against what they say is illegal immigration of people from Bangladesh during a rally in Kolkata on August 2, 2018 AFP

Assam published its draft list of citizens on July 30, excluding more than four million people

Leader of the Opposition (LoP) Congress in the Assam Legislative Assembly, Debabrata Saikiahas said the government should give another chance to those who could not apply for inclusion in the National Register of Citizens (NRC), so that their names are included in the updated list.

“Many did not apply for inclusion in the NRC. I know one such person hailing from Goalpara who worked for Assam Medical College and Hospital in Dibrugarh. These people should be given another opportunity,” Debabrata told reporters in Guwahati on Tuesday.

“Even prominent people and those who have land and citizenship documents from before 1971 are excluded from the NRC. The families of Bahadur Gaonburah, who participated in the 1857 Indian war of independence, are not on the list published on July 30. There are many more,” he added.

Assam published its draft list of citizens on July 30, excluding more than four million people.

Debabrata claimed the government is trying to exclude people from the NRC to grant citizenship to people who entered India before December 31, 2014. 

“There has been an effort by the government to increase the number of excluded people from the NRC so that it can swing public opinion in favour of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016,which aims to grant citizenship to ‘persecuted’ Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians who entered India before December 31, 2014.”

Criticizing the ruling BJP, the opposition leader said: “The BJP wants to know whether we seriously want to deport illegal immigrants or not. The erstwhile Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government deported 82,000 Bangladeshis. But the number is only 1,800 during the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) rule.”

He also accused the BJP of politicizing the issue to divert the people’s attention for its “failure to effect developmental activities.”