NRC must for national security and will be implemented: Amit Shah

The NRC is “a must” for national security and will be implemented, Union Home Minister Amit Shah declared on Tuesday but made it clear that Hindu, Sikh, Jain and Buddhist refugees will be accorded Indian citizenship beforehand with the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.

Addressing a BJP seminar on the National Register of Citizens, which has hitherto remained confined to Assam, the party president accused West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her party TMC of misleading the people on the issue.

The TMC has sought to project the NRC exercise in Assam as an “anti-Bengali” move after nearly 12 lakh Bengali speaking people, including a large number of Hindus, were left out of the final list of citizens published on August 31.

“People of Bengal are being misled on the issue of NRC. I am here today to clear all doubts on the BJP’s stand …. Mamata Di is saying that millions of Hindus will have to leave West Bengal. There cannot be a bigger lie than this.

“I want to assure the people of Bengal NRC will be implemented but nothing of this sort is going to happen. I assure all Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Jain refugees they won’t have to leave the country, they will get Indian citizenship and enjoy all the rights of an Indian national,” Shah said in an attempt to dispel fears over the NRC in the state.

Alarmed at the possibility of the NRC being replicated in the state, people have been rushing to government and municipal offices in droves over the last few days to obtain documents that could prove West Bengal has been their place of residence for long.

Banerjee, a strident critic of both the BJP and the NRC, has claimed 11 people have committed suicide so far out of fear of being rendered stateless in the event of the citizenship register being prepared in the state, and declared she will never allow the exercise to be undertaken in West Bengal.

Even while seeking to address the concerns of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist and Jain refugees, Shah asserted that not one infiltrator will be allowed to live in India. “We will expel each one of them,” he said.

“No country in the world can run smoothly while carrying the burden of so many intruders. This has to stop. We are working towards changing Bengal. NRC is a must. We will have to implement NRC to ensure the country’s safety and security,” Shah said.

The BJP president recalled how Banerjee, during her days in the opposition, frequently raised the issue of illegal infiltration.

“When Mamata Di was in opposition, she asked for these intruders to be removed from Bengal. She had once thrown her shawl at the Speaker’s face over that. Now that those intruders have become her vote bank, she doesn’t want them to be removed. Political ambitions should not prevail over national interest,” he said.

The tempestuous TMC boss was, however, measured in her response to Shah’s accusations.

“Please don’t create rift among people. Bengal is known to respect leaders of different faiths for ages. None can spoil that,” Banerjee said at the 95 Pally Puja inuguration without naming the BJP chief.

In his speech, Shah hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for scrapping provisions of Article 370 that accorded special status to Jammu and Kashmir, saying it will facilitate complete integration of the state into India.

Referring to Syama Prasad Mookerjee, the founder of Janasangh, the BJP’s precursor, Shah said it was due to the sacrifices of the leader that West Bengal was today a part of the Indian republic.

Shah also exuded confidence that BJP would come to power in West Bengal with full majority in the next assembly elections.

“The blood of BJP workers that has been shed in Bengal will not go in vain. You’ve given a chance to Communists, Congress and the Trinamool Congress. Now is the time to give a chance to the BJP to form the government and change West Bengal,” Shah said.

NRC: Supreme Court reserves order on citizenship issue of those born in country between 1971 and 1987

On Thursday, Supreme Court reserved its order on citizenship issue of people born in India between 1971 and 1987 and who were not included in National Register of Citizens (NRC) list.

Apex Court Bench stated that,”We will not be bothered by what others say about our orders & judgments. We will continue to oversee NRC finalised as per the scheduled date of August 31″.

On July 23, Supreme Court had extended deadline for final publication of NRC in Assam from July 31 to August 31.

Division bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi & Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman passed the order on a plea filed by Centre & Assam Govt. for extension of the deadline.

Apex Court had refused to allow a plea for 20 per cent sample re-verification of those included & excluded from NRC.

Supreme Court extends NRC deadline to December 31

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday extended the last date to file claims and objections on inclusion of names in the draft National Register of Citizens (NRC)  to December 31, 2018. Earlier, the last date for submission was December 15. 

The draft NRC was published on July 30 in which names of 2.89 crore of the 3.29 crore people were included. The court’s order came after the Assam government asked it to extend the deadline on Tuesday.  A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman said that issuance of notice to those who filed claims and objections will commence on February 1, 2019, and the verification would done from February 15.

The list incorporates names of 2.89 crore people out of 3.29 crore applicants. The names of 40.07 lakh people have been left out.  Earlier, the apex court had allowed the use of five more documents by claimants for the draft Assam NRC, saying the premise “better to exclude genuine person than to include a wrongful person” can’t be accepted.



No extension of date for updation of NRC in Assam : Supreme Court

The Supreme Court today refused to extend the May 31 deadline for the ongoing process of publication of the final National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam in the wake of panchayat elections in the state, saying the polls should not become an impediment.

The top court, however, spared the Additional Deputy Commissioner rank officer currently engaged in NRC updation work for the local bodies elections scheduled next month.

“We have already said that the deadline for updation of NRC is May 31 and the next 30 days for cross-checking of data till June 30. It can’t go beyond that and complete final draft should be ready by then. You deploy your surplus employees or request neighbhouring states, but no employee engaged in NRC work can be spared or disturbed,” a bench of Justice Ranjan Gogoi and R F Nariman said.

The bench’s remark came after the state government said the panchayat elections were due next month and urged that the employees engaged in NRC work be allowed to be deployed for the polls. The NRC is being prepared to identify illegal migrants in Assam.

The bench said it had no intention to interfere with the panchayat polls in the state and it should be held as per schedule. But the polls shall not become impediment in the work of NRC, it added.

Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing Assam, told the court that as per the Panchayat Constitution Rules of the state, deputy commissioner is responsible for the elections but he was currently engaged in NRC work.

“When we asked the deputy commissioner to work for polls, the state coordinator of NRC Prateek Hajela said it will be contempt of court as no officer can be engaged in any other work,” he said.

To this, the bench said if there was a statutory requirement, then the additional deputy commissioners of each district can be spared for the local bodies’ election, but no other official can be allowed to do any other job, except NRC updation.

The bench asked all state governments, railways, banks, CBSE, UIDAI and Ministry of External Affairs to assist the NRC officials in verification of the records in the stipulated period.

Mehta said if the panchayat elections are delayed in Assam, then the state will lose a grant of Rs 1000 crore, which can be given only if the elected local bodies are in place as per the recommendation of 14th Finance Commission.

During the hearing, the bench also pulled up the Registrar General of India (RGI) for “putting spanners” in the work of updation of NRC.

“Mr. Attorney General, we have received a confidential report from our sources and have found that this gentleman (Registrar General of India) is putting spanners in the work,” the bench said.

Attorney General K K Venugopal, who was present in the courtroom, asked whether the court meant that the RGI was delaying the work.

“Yes. We have received a confidential report regarding this. If that will be the case, we will not hesitate to direct for replacing the Registrar General of India,” the bench said.

RGI Shailesh was also present in the courtroom when the bench made the observation and warned him of the action.

The bench posted the matter for further hearing on May 8.

On February 20, the apex court had made it clear that the ongoing process of publication of the final NRC in Assam has to be completed by May 31 this year and work on it should continue without “any interference from any quarter”.

The bench, while noting in its order that the work of final draft NRC would be completed by June 30, had also dealt with the issue of the upcoming panchayat and local body elections in Assam, which were due in for April this year.

The top court had said that the state election commission would conduct these elections as per schedule but the poll process should not cause “slightest of interference in the publication of NRC”. It had said that the work of holding election will not be at the cost of upgradation and preparation of NRC.

The first draft NRC for Assam was published in December end as per the apex court’s direction to come out with the first draft NRC by December 31, 2017.

The apex court had said that claims of those citizens, whose names do not figure in the draft NRC for Assam published by December 31 last year, would be scrutinised and included in the subsequent list, if found genuine.

The NRC of 1951 is being updated for Assam in accordance with the tripartite agreement among the state and central governments and the influential All Assam Students Union (AASU), which was arrived at in 2005 to implement the 1985 Assam Accord.