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NRC to turn waste paper if Citizenship Bill enacted: Gogoi


GUWAHATI: Former Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi and veteran Congress leader on Thursday stated that the updated National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam would turn a waste paper if the Centre enacted the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 through which the government is planning to change the definition of illegal migrants.

The Bill which was introduced in the Lok Sabha on July 15, 2016 has been opposed by many political and apolitical organisations in Assam reeling under the problem of illegal migration from Bangladesh for the reason that the Bill seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955 to provide citizenship to ‘persecuted’ migrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, who are Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi or Christian extraction.

The Bill which seeks to reduce the requirement of 11 years of continuous stay in the country to six years to obtain citizenship by naturalisation. So, if enacted, the Bill will make the NRC updated with March 24, 1971 as the cut-off date, a redundant document.

According to the Citizenship Act, 1955, an illegal immigrant is one who enters India without a valid passport or with forged documents or, a person who stays beyond the visa permit.

On the basis of latest directive of the Supreme Court to Assam’s NRC coordinator Prateek Hajela who was also censured by the court for giving detailed interview to a section of media on the NRC updating process, Gogoi commented that there was scope for re-examination of the NRC final draft given that names of many indigenous people had failed to make it to the list. Gogoi, therefore favoured constitution of Police Station level committee for re-examination of the final NRC draft.



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