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Will provide citizenship to Hindus: Shah

Home Minister Amit Shah said on Monday that the government would bring a Bill in Parliament to provide citizenship to “Hindus refugees” left out of the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

Mr. Shah made the remark in hte Rajya Sabha after Trinamool member Derek O’Brien raised the issue of the probability of 23 lakh Bengali Hindus losing citizenship when the final NRC is published by July 31 in Assam. Nearly 41 lakh people have been excluded from the final draft NRC, of which 36 lakh have filed claims against the exclusion.

“I want to repeat our stand on NRC. We want to stop infiltration and also push every single infiltrator out of the country. As far as Hindu refugees are concerned, we are bringing the Citizenship Amendment Bill to give them Indian citizenship,” Mr. Shah said. In its 2019 election manifesto, the BJP said it would compile NRCs across the country. President Ram Nath Kovind’s speech this month also mentioned that NRC would be implemented on “priority basis in areas affected by infiltration”.

At present, on Supreme Court directions, the Registrar-General of India (RGI) published the final draft of the NRC on July 30 last year to exclude those who had illegally entered the State from Bangladesh after March 25, 1971. The RGI on Monday a month’s extension to complete the enumeration process for updating the NRC in Assam.

Mr. O’Brien had asked, “The NRC affects 23 lakh Bengali Hindus. I say, you support all citizens; don't leave the Hindus out. Ten Bengali Hindus committed suicide in the Assam Detention Camps… As part of a delegation from the Trinamool Congress, we went there. Why is the Central government targeting, through NRC, the Indian citizens? That is my point. Why are they targeting Indian citizens, be them a large number of Hindus or Bengalis?”

Amid protests in Assam and northeast States, the government passed the contentious Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019, seeking to provide citizenship to non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan in Lok Sabha in January but it lapsed as it couldn’t be cleared in the Rajya Sabha.

Mr. Shah also advised West Bengal’s Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to stop political killings in the State.

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Printable version | Oct 25, 2020 3:03:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/will-provide-citizenship-to-hindus-shah/article28254094.ece

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