Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday addressed the fourth conclave of the North-East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) in Assam and asserted that the Modi government is aiming to expel all illegal immigrants not just from Assam but from the entire country. He went to assure the people of Assam that no illegal migrant will be able to enter Assam or any other state in the northeast.
"All states, especially Asssam have expressed worry about the NRC (National Register of Citizens). A lot of people think many people were left out of NRC. I want to assure that no illegal migrant could enter Assam or any other state in the northeast. Our intention is to expel illegal immigrants from the entire country and not just Assam," Amit Shah said.
This is Home Minister Amit Shah's first visit in Assam after the NRC list came out on August 31. In his address, he also launched a scathing attack at the Congress party, alleging the grand old party of neglecting the seven states in the northeast from the rest of the country. Amit Shah went onto allege that it was due to Congress' negligence that militancy development in the region.
"The Congress governments sowed the seeds of strife in the northeast. The Congress party hindered the process of development in the northeast. The party did not care for the northeast and because of that militancy flourished. It always believed in the policy of divide and rule," Amit shah added.
The National Registry of Citizens was first prepared in 1951 which contains the names of Indian citizens. The NRC process was aimed at separating genuine Indian citizens from undocumented immigrants living in Assam. As per NRC terms, a resident has to prove that they or their ancestors entered Assam before midnight on March 24, 1971. Anyone failing to do so will be declared a foreigner.
First NRC list that was released on August 31 included 3.11 crore people of Assam and excluded 19.06 lakh people. Amit Shah has assured a legal recourse for the people that have been excluded from the list. BJP leaders have assured the people excluded from the list that justice will be done and their appeals will be heard in the court. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has assured that a person whose name is not in the final NRC list is not automatically designated as a foreigner. Only a Foreigners Tribunal (FT) can declare a person as a ‘foreigner’. Hence, the persons excluded from the list can file an appeal in the FTs. The time limit for filing an appeal has been increased from 60 to 120 days. The individual can appeal to the High Court and the Supreme Court if they lose the appeal with the FT.