Accusing the BJP governments both at the Centre and in Assam of deliberately tagging indigenous people from the minority community as Bangladeshi, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) on Saturday has appealed to the authorities assigned with the task of preparing the NRC to be neutral.
“Ever since BJP government came to power, the number of those declared as foreigners has increased dramatically in Assam,” said JIH secretary general Muhammad Salim Engineer.
Raising question over the fate of crores of people, the Jamaat leader said, “We are deeply concerned with the publication of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam. So fare NRC has held 1.9 crore people of the 3.3 crore applications to be valid and bonafide citizens of India. The fate of 1.4 crore people still hangs in balance.”
The second and final NRC list will be published on July 30. According to the Assam Accord signed in 1985, anyone who entered the state after 24 March 1971 is considered as an illegal foreigner. “However, if a person is accused of being a foreigner, then the onus of proof lies on the accused. But genuine citizens who could not maintain proper records are impacted and now face the brunt of being branded as foreigners. Most are declared foreigners due to minor inaccuracies in their documents,” the Jamaat leader pointed out.
The Jamaat leader also termed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 as highly discriminatory and unconstitutional.
“This bill is against the spirit of the Constitution of India as it proposes to grant citizenship to people from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan according to their religion. Thus Hindus from Bangladesh would be accepted but not Muslims,’’ said Salim Engineer.
Jamaat expects that the government agencies entrusted with the task of preparing the list of legal citizens shall discharge their duty diligently and without bias. Those in power in the state and the Center should also ensure that communal elements are reined in and law and order is maintained in Assam.
The Jamaat leaders also talked about lynching incidents that take place quite often.
“Such events should be condemned as it gives encouragement to those who take the law in their hands. Jamaat demands that the Central government and the state governments must put an end to such incidents of lawlessness and act seriously in maintaining law and order as well as communal harmony in the country which is the basic duty of any government,’’ said Jamaat chief Maulana Syed Jalaluddin.