Expressing concern over the exclusion of 40 lakh names in the final draft of NRC in Assam, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee slammed the Centre for turning “Indian citizens into refugees”.
“They are turning Indian people into refugees in their own country,” Banerjee said at a press meet in Kolkata.
She said her government will consider providing shelter on humanitarian grounds to people who enter West Bengal from Assam.
She said she would try to meet Home Minister Rajnath Singh on the subject. “I am sending a team of party MPs to Assam and if necessary, I will go there too,” she said.
“Many people have been identified as foreigners and they are to be sent back. There are many children and women among them… So many Bengalis, Biharis, Hindus, Muslims… they are very much Indians,” said Banerjee, adding that she was “worried about torture” of those left out.
“It is a game plan to evict humanity and human beings forcibly and an attempt to isolate them in order to do vote politics. We do not believe in divide and rule policy,” NDTV quoted Banerjee as saying.
“Such a huge step is being taken. Shouldn’t the government have conversation with Bengal?” Banerjee said.
“Every state has people staying from other states, like Gujarat and Maharashtra.”
Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress, the Congress, CPM and Samajwadi party protested in parliament, saying the list puts “human rights and democratic rights” of people at stake.
In Rajya Sabha, TMC member Derek O’Brien pressed for a discussion on the exclusions from the NRC draft, calling it a “humanitarian issue, a human rights issue”.
“Some people are unnecessarily trying to create an atmosphere of fear… This is a draft and not the final list,” Home Minister Rajnath Singh said.
Urging parties not to “create panic”, the Home Minister said, “It is a sensitive issue and should not be politicised unnecessarily.”