GUWAHATI: Congress leader and three-time former Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi alleged that the authorities of National Register of Citizens (NRC) were working at the behest of the BJP even as he insisted that people detected as illegal immigrants during the course of NRC updation should be declared stateless.
"I, along with many others, have apprehension that many genuine Indian citizens will be left out of the draft NRC. The NRC authority is working under the instance of the BJP government. That is why the Supreme Court had to intervene several times and monitor the whole process," Gogoi tweeted.
He also wrote that in the event of the detection of illegal immigrants, the persons should be immediately declared stateless and the issue of their deportation taken up by the Central government with the Bangladesh government. Given the monitoring of the NRC updation exercise by the apex court, he was confident of the publication of a fair and correct NRC.
"If all Indian citizens will be included in the NRC, there should not be any possibility of the breakdown of law and order or any public disturbances. But the activities of the BJP government with the deployment of additional paramilitary forces and mock drills for riots are not a good sign," the Congress stalwart said.
Meanwhile, BJP MLA Atul Bora claimed that the names of a large number of illegal immigrants had entered the NRC draft.
"If the names of ten lakh foreigners get omitted from the draft NRC, still there will be 30 lakh others whose names will make their way into the list. Despite the sincerity of employees engaged in the NRC updation process, there are loopholes in the work," Bora claimed.
The Dispur MLA also asked about the fate of those who will be detected as illegal Bangladeshi immigrants. The "complete draft" is due for publication by June 30, a deadline set by the Supreme Court.
People, whose names will not figure in it, will get a window period of one month to submit claims and counter-claims, following which the final NRC will be published. The first draft, published on December 31 last year, had the names of 1.9 crore of 3.29 crore applicants.
The NRC is being updated based on March 24 (midnight), 1971 as the cut-off date. This ideally means the immigrants, who came to India after March 24 (midnight), 1971, will be viewed as illegal citizens. According to the estimates of local groups and organisations, Assam has 20 lakh to 50 lakh illegal Bangladeshi immigrants.