DISPUR, India: The Indian government has stripped about 1.9 million residents of Assam state of their citizenship at the strike of a pen on Saturday.
As per media reports, under the National Register of Citizens (NRC) people, who could prove they had arrived in India a day before Bangladesh had declared independence on March 24, 1971, were listed as citizens, while the people who could not get a place in the list have been given 120 days to appeal against their exclusion.
The NRC was established in 1951 to determine who was born in Assam. The list has been first time updated ever since and about 31.1 million people have been included in it.
“The entire process of NRC update has been meticulously carried out in an objective and transparent manner. Adequate opportunity of being heard has been given to all persons at every stage of the process. The entire process is conducted as per statutory provisions and due procedure followed at every stage,” the Assam government stated.
It is still unclear that what would happen next to the ‘stateless’ people now.
The government said the listing was conducted to identify immigrants from Bangladesh.
Last year in July, over four million people in India were excluded from the list of citizenship.
According to BBC, a third of Assam state’s 32 million residents are Muslims, the second-highest number after Indian-administered Kashmir. Many of them are descendants of immigrants who settled there under British rule.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has warned that ethnic cleansing of Muslims in India should send alarm bells to the entire world.
Referring to India’s stripping millions of residents in Assam of their citizenship, PM Imran Khan in a tweet said illegal annexation of Kashmir was part of a wider policy to target the Muslim populace in the country.