Govt planning NRC in Karnataka: State minister
The Bharatiya Janata Party-led Karnataka government is collecting information on suspected illegal immigrants in the state, and considering preparing an Assam-like National Register of Citizens (NRC), state home minister Basavaraj Bommai said on Thursday.
“There is a talk on the implementation of NRC across India. We are one of the states where people across the border have come and settled down. We are collecting information and will discuss with Union home ministry and go ahead,” Bommai said.
About 1.9 million people out of 33 million applicants were excluded in the final NRC published in Assam on August 31. The exercise that was monitored by the Supreme Court was aimed at weeding out illegal immigrants from the state.
The BJP has been pushing for similar citizens’ lists across India. Union home minister Amit Shah recently said that the NRC exercise will be conducted throughout the country and all illegal immigrants would be “thrown out”.
Bommai had said in Haveri district on Wednesday that two meetings had already been held on this matter.
“Especially in Bengaluru and other cities, people have come from other states and countries in large numbers. Some of them have even been involved in criminal activities, this has come to our notice. We will soon take a decision on this; we will take a decision this week,” he had said.
However, state law minister JC Madhuswamy said the topic was not discussed during the cabinet meeting on that day. “No such file has come before the department. We will take a call when it is brought before the department,” he said.
The move was criticised by the Congress, whose state working president Eshwar Khandre. “There is no need for this. If there are illegal immigrants, the police and authorities can take action locally. NRC is a huge exercise that requires a lot of money and can also create fear among minority communities,” he said. “Injustice could even be meted out to people born in this land. So, I believe it is completely unnecessary.”
The demand for detection and deportation of suspected illegal immigrants in Karnataka, and Bengaluru especially, is not new. The BJP’s Mahadevapura legislator Arvind Limbavali has for long claimed that there are many illegal Bangladeshi immigrants in the city. A slum where migrants from West Bengal reside, was to be demolished, but was eventually stayed by the Karnataka high court last year.