Assam register: Four million people risk losing citizenship in India

Citizens must prove they reside in Assam

According to The Hindustan Times, "People, whose names have not appeared in the complete list, could end up in detention centres, might get pushed back, become stateless, get long-term work permits without land and political rights".

Under the BJP government, which came to power in 2016, some 15,000 people were declared foreigners a year ago alone - which means more than 1,000 per month.

Jaiprakash Narayan Yadav (SP) said the move would lead to "hatred" and "violence" in Assam and dubbed it as a "war on people" who have been living in the state for the last 40 years.

Villagers wait outside the National Register of Citizens centre to get their documents verified
Image Villagers are having to get documents verified

In 2017, he was served notice by the Foreigners Tribunal - a quasi-judicial court set up to try cases of illegal migrants - to prove his citizenship.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist party, which came to power in the state in 2016, says the new citizenship test aims to protect ethnic Assamese and crack down on illegal migration.

Addressing the media, Mamata said, "names of people were removed on the basis of surnames also. We can not contact people in Assam".

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Amid opposition uproar over the publication of the National Register of Citizens in Assam, home minister Rajnath Singh today asked parties opposing it not to politicise the "sensitive" issue. "No genuine Indian citizen should have any fear", Sailesh said.

This issue has triggered anti-foreigner agitation in the state.

The Hindustan Times writes, "It was decided that anyone residing illegally in Assam from March 25, 1971. would be kept out of the list".

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Suban said both he and his father were born in Assam, and showed Reuters a soiled yellow document that showed his father's name in the list of voters in Assam for 1965, before the cut-off date.

Azmal Haque, 50, a resident of Chaygaon in Assam's Kamrup district, said his name was omitted despite submitting all "valid documents". Hundreds of thousands of people fled what was then East Pakistan in the 1970s, most settling in Assam. Majority settled in Assam, which has a near-165-mile (270km) border with Bangladesh.

In one of the worst massacres, around 2,000 suspected migrants were butchered in a single day in Nellie in 1983. But the NRC told India's top court this month that it would drop 150,000 people from that list - a third of them married women - mainly because they had provided false information or inadmissible documents. "Hence, there is no need for anyone to panic", he told reporters in New Delhi. "However, you can not force somebody on the people of Assam and you have to ensure a balance between the two - aspirations of Indigenous people of Assam and the humanitarian consideration", Mr Sarma said in an exclusive interview with NDTV. People who lack knowledge will be provided assistance.

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