A controversial report published by the internationally accomplished media agency Reuters on the eve of publication of final draft of National Register for Citizens (NRC) has created ripples among concerned circles.
The report is allegedly trying to communalize the whole issue of updating the NRC by stating that the process is a meticulous design to segregate lakhs of Bengali Muslims in Assam as foreigners.
Concerned circles have expressed apprehension that such a report may cause disturbance in the law and order scenario of Assam just hours before the publication of the final draft of NRC.
It remains to be seen how the Sarbananda Sonowal government reacts to such an inflammatory report by a prestigious global news agency when it has been fervently appealing to all to maintain restraint while making any comments on the NRC update process.
Notably, the report which claims to be an investigative one is written by one Krishna N Das with ‘additional reporting’ by senior journalist Syed Zarir Hussain.
The in-famous Nellie massacre during the Assam Agitation in 1982 has been drawn in the report as a grim reminder of violence in anticipation which is also viewed by many as making the situation unnecessarily volatile.
The report further stated that with an eye on the 2019 general election, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) ‘Hindu-first campaign has become more strident’.
The report further stated that, ‘elsewhere in the country’s northern heartland, lynchings of Muslim cattle traders have risen under Modi in the country where many Hindus consider cows sacred, further deepening social divides’
These issues many feel have no connection with the NRC updating process in the State.
Notably, the process of updating the NRC is being done in compliance of the historic Assam Accord and to be recognized as Indian citizens, all residents of Assam had to produce documents proving that they or their families lived in the country before March 24, 1971.
The Central Government has been reiterating time and again that the NRC was monitored by the country’s top court and there was no question of discriminating on the basis of religion.
NRC coordinator Prateek Hajela, had earlier this month told the Supreme Court that 150,000 people from the first list, one third of them married women, would be dropped from the final draft, mainly because they provided false information or gave inadmissible documents.
According to the Reuters report, these are mostly Bengali Muslims.
The real picture will, however, be clear when the final draft of the NRC is published on Monday (July30).
To view the Reuters report, one can click in the link: