Reacting to the Pulwama terror attack the situation in Kashmir, BJP President Amit Shah said that the party will not let Assam turn into another Kashmir.
To tackle insurgency and militancy in the state, the party is pushing harder for the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
“We will not allow Assam to become another Kashmir. That is why we have brought NRC (National Register of Citizens). We will deport each and every infiltrator with the help of NRC. We are committed to that,” he said.
What is the NRC
The NRC is a census documenting the number of people residing in Assam, classifying them into local citizens and the migrants from other states and countries.
According to the second draft of NRC released in July last year, there are about 3 crore people residing among which 40 lakh need to prove their citizenship. The latter category of people migrated to the state post the Bangladesh war in 1971 and have been living there illegally since then.
NRC was first laid down by Rajiv Gandhi in form of Assam Accord of 1985, which demanded to identify the exchanged population across Indo-Bangladesh border during the partition and deport them from the state.
In Assam, there has had been a history of killings of Bangladeshi Muslims. In 1983, over 3000 Muslims were murdered in Nelli village. This was followed by an attack in 2014, in which about 40 people were shot dead. The violence was perpetrated against the mass migrants in the name of safeguarding the indigenous populace.
Under the regime of the present BJP government, the NRC aims to weed out the illegal migrants in Assam by passing the Citizenship Amendment Bill proposed in 2016. The bill was slated to be passed earlier this year but has been benched till June.
In the wake of recent events of terrorism in the country, The NRC issue seems to corroborate with the treatment meted out to the Rohingyas under the State leadership. To address the crisis, the External Affairs Ministry had come up with a relief operation in 2017 named “Operation Insaniyaat” to assure safe displacement of the migrants, only to prove it as a hoax and an act of vested interest.
As per the clause of NRC, Anyone who cannot prove that they or their ancestors entered Assam before midnight on March 24, 1971 stands to be declared a foreigner. The government brands it as a way to deliver justice to the Assamese people by massacring possibly the weakest religious and linguistic minority in the Tower.
The North East continues to be rigged with the controversies surrounding the Citizenship Bill as it could be perceived as a license earned legally for inhumane activities against the poor and desolate community, in need of rehabilitation and sensitivity.
The Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016, which is not yet law, introduces another complication, because it will grant citizenship to non-Muslim immigrants who came into Assam even after March 24, 1971, but deny the same to Muslims. The justification given for this discrimination is that Hindus and Buddhists are minorities in Bangladesh, and fled to India to avoid religious persecution, but Muslims are a majority in Bangladesh and so the same cannot be said about them, had written Markanday Katju, former Supreme Court judge, in an article for The Wire.
However, it is evident that the real reason is that Muslims vote against BJP, and so, granting citizenship to them goes against the interest of the BJP, he had added.
Compiled by Aindrisha Mitra and Akshara Srivastava, with inputs from The Telegraph, The Indian Express, The Wire and Youth Ki Awaaz.