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It’s a conspiracy: Mamata slams Centre over updated Assam citizen list

The second and final draft of the NRC Assam published on Monday morning left out 40 lakh names out of 3.29 crore applicants.

india Updated: Jul 30, 2018 20:11 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
Mamata Banerjee,NRC Assam,Assam
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee during an address at the West Bengal Legislative Assembly, in Kolkata.(PTI File Photo)

Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee lashed out at Centre on Monday over the draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) which she claimed was a plan to evict Bengalis and Biharis from Assam.

She said that she would dispatch a team of Trinamool Congress MPs to the state and might even visit Assam herself.

The second and final draft of the NRC published on Monday morning left out 40 lakh names out of 3.29 crore applicants.

“We are worried because people are being made refugees in their own country. It’s a plan to throw out Bengali speaking people and Biharis. Consequences will be felt in our state also,” Banerjee said at a press conference at the state secretariat. “I shall send a team of MPs to Assam. I can go there too.”

“As many as four million Bengalis have been declared non-Indians. Bengal and Assam share borders. Other states would not be as adversely affected as Bengal. Bengal and Bangladesh will be the most affected by this decision,” remarked the Bengal chief minister.

Responding to a question on whether the Bengal government would offer shelter to those not on the list, the chief minister said, “We would give it a thought. But let me ask, why would they be thrown out in the first place?”

She said Parliament must bring in a law to protect those left out of the draft NRC.

“What will happen, if they want to push them back, and if Bangladesh does not want to take them back? The Parliament must legislate to protect these human beings,” the chief minister said.

Mamata Banerjee gave examples of a few persons and claimed they have documents such as voters’ cards, passports, PSU bank accounts and Aadhaar cards and yet have not been recognised as Indian citizens.

She said she would speak to Union home minister Rajnath Singh. “There is an UN resolution to give shelter to refugees in distress,” she remarked.

“They are settled in Assam with businesses and establishments. How can they be excluded? They have been staying there for decades, even for 50 to 100 years,” remarked Banerjee.

Although the NRC exercise was monitored by the Supreme Court, Banerjee blamed the Centre for creating “unnecessary provocation.”

“The court is not to be blamed. The government of India did not oppose it. Why did not the Centre legislate to protect them? They are creating unnecessary provocation,” she remarked.

“The Union home minister has said there is no cause of panic. If that be so why have communication and social networks been deactivated? One can’t even reach out through e-mails. Why were 15 companies of forces deployed?” Banerjee asked before leaving for Delhi on a two-day trip where she is expected to discuss with leaders of non-BJP parties the possibilities of forging an anti-BJP front before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

The BJP hit back saying no bonafide citizen was being targeted in the NRC exercise.

“Mamata Banerjee is unnecessarily making the waters muddy. The Assam government is no targeting bonafide citizens of the country. They are trying to identify the illegal immigrants. The Bengal chief minister knows she is on a sticky wicket in her own state. Therefore, she is raising this communal Bengali-Bihari issue,” said BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha.

Earlier this month, Rajnath Singh in a statement had assured that every individual will get justice and will be treated in a humane manner.

“All individuals will have sufficient opportunity for the remedies available under the law. Government wants to make it clear that after draft NRC publication on July 30, adequate opportunity for claims and objections will be available. All claims and objections will be duly examined,” he had said.

The Union home ministry had also advised the Assam government that no action should be initiated by the administration or the police based on the draft NRC.

First Published: Jul 30, 2018 14:24 IST