Illegal migrants or Indian citizens? Assam's controversial register

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Communalism and sectarian politics have a major role to play in the latest jolt to the country.

After BJP President Amit Shah, Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar has also asked Congress Party and TMC to clarify their stance on illegal migrants.

The process for updating the NRC, the basic legal document for proof of Assamese identity, began in 2009 when the reclusive Pradip Kumar Bhuyan prepared the draft of the writ petition and persuaded Sarma, president of Assam Public Works (APW), a voluntary organisation, to be its petitioner in the apex court. "The Centre should come up with a clear-cut formula on how to deal with people who ultimately fail the citizenship test".

"Firstly, we see this as an internal, local political issue with Indian state of Assam".

Abdul Manan, a Muslim man returns after finding that his name is not included in the National Register of Citizens draft in Mayoung, about 55 kilometers (34 miles) east of Gauhati, India, July 30, 2018. "We have always demanded removal of illegal immigrants".

"Those who can't prove their ancestral history in Assam prior to March 1971 (the formation of Bangladesh, when there were large flows of Bengali Muslim refugees into India) have now been deemed "illegal migrants" rather than "Indian citizens".

The Centre proposed recording biometrics of people excluded from the draft NRC to keep track of them if they migrate to other states but the court did not say anything on this submission.

In June 2018, four United Nations human rights experts had sent a letter to Indian govt raising concerns over NRC process being discriminatory.

He said Bangladesh had 10 million refugees in India during the liberation war with Pakistan.

"Many people have been identified as foreigners and they are to be sent back". A large number of women of all communities and ethnic groups are left out who had submitted Panchayat certificates as approved by the Supreme Court as valid document.

Following an outcry from rights groups over possible harassment of Muslims in Assam, Interior Minister Rajnath Singh said that the NRC exercise was being carried out in an impartial and transparent manner.

Prafulla Kumar Mahanta who led the historic Assam Movement could not do NRC update as the chief minister of the State for two consecutive terms.

Illegal immigration is an important issue in Assam. "Terrible things happened to our family once, we don't want a repeat".

He also said that the Congress is known for changing its stand on political issues. This practically means that more than 40 lakh people in Assam are now stateless and are not recognized by any country as its citizens.

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