Include all Indians in NRC list: Bengali refugees’ body

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Kolkata, Aug 20 (IANS) The Joint Action Committee for Bengali Refugees (JACBR) on Monday demanded the inclusion of all Indians in the draft NCR in Assam and grant of citizenship rights to those who arrived in the country on or before December 31, 2014.

The committee, enlisted as one of the stakeholders by the Supreme Court whose suggestions be taken into account while drafting the standard operating procedure (SOP) for filing claims and objections for inclusion in the National Register of Citizens (NRC), said that it would submit a memorandum to West Bengal Governor Keshri Nath Tripathi on August 30 on their demands.

It claimed that there is an attempt to keep away certain people from the NRC list in Assam and divide the country on communal lines. It said all Muslims living in India be considered as its citizens and not Bangladeshi infiltrators.

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“Most of the over 40 lakh people left out of the draft NRC in Assam are actually Indian citizens. There might be a negligible percentage who may have infiltrated from Bangladesh. There is an attempt to leave out people from the NRC. We demand every Indian to be included in the citizenship list,” its President Sukriti Ranjan Biswas said.

“The BJP is saying that migrants belonging to the Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, Christian or other religious communities coming from neighbouring countries (mostly from Afghanistan, Bangladesh or Pakistan) on or before December 2014, should be granted residence in India but not citizenship. We demand all these people be given citizenship rights in accordance with the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016,” he said.

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Terming the documentation process of the NRC as unjustified, he said it was impossible for economically backward people of Assam to preserve old documents as they have been displaced several times due to natural calamities in the state.

–IANS

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