Home Minister Amit Shah, during a debate in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, dropped a big hint that the government plans to implement the National Register of Citizens (NRC) across the country.
In his statement, while replying to a query by Swapan Dasgupta, Shah said, "The process of National Register of Citizens (NRC) will be carried out across the country. No one, irrespective of religion should be worried, it is just a process to get everyone under the NRC. People whose name has not figured in the draft list have the right to go to the Tribunal. Tribunals will be constituted across Assam. If any person doesn't have the money to approach Tribunal, then Assam govt to bear the cost to hire a lawyer."
"The bill was tabled in LS. members of all parties were present. It was a general consensus among all members. The bill lapses and so it will come again in LS. It has nothing to do with NRC. The NRC process in Assam was taken up by SC orders and following an Act.", he went on to add.
Shah also said that it will cater to all religions and that there will be no discrimination. He said, "Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Jain, Christian, Parsi refugees should get citizenship, that is why Citizenship Amendment Bill is needed so that these refugees who are being discriminated on basis of religion in Pakistan, Bangladesh or Afghanistan, get Indian citizenship. NRC has no such provision which says that no other religion will be taken under NRC. All citizens of India irrespective of religion will figure in the NRC list. The NRC is different from Citizenship Amendment Bill."
During the Rajya Sabha session, the government also said that the situation in Kashmir is normal and that politicians will be released once the local administration sees fit. On the issue, Shah said, "As far as internet services are concerned, the decision can be taken by the Jammu and Kashmir authorities. There are activities by Pakistan too in Kashmir region, so keeping security in mind, whenever the local authority deems it fit, a decision will be taken. availability of medicines is adequate, there is no problem. Mobile medicine vans have also started. The administration has taken care of health services."
(with inputs from ANI)