ASSAM CM Sonowal Bats For Sealing Border With Bangladesh & NRC For All States Saying Genuine Indians Need Not Panic

ASSAM Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has pleaded for implementation of National Registers for Citizens (NRC) across the country and sealing Indo-Bangladesh border in national interest. In Delhi, Sonowal, who had played an instrumental role in the anti-foreigners’ movement, updated BJP general secretary in-charge for Assam Ram Madhav and some other leaders on the process of NRC in the north-eastern state. Deletion of names of foreigners from the voters’ list and depriving the identified foreigners of all government benefits will follow after publication of the final NRC. “Then, the next step will be to deport them,” he said. Cautioning the people not to be alarmed by NRC, Ram Madhav said the non-citizens will be handled diplomatically. He then referred to Bangladesh’s ongoing attempt to deport the Rohingya refugees. Bangladesh is in negotiation with Myanmar and its officials have visited the Rakhine state where one million illegal Rohingyas will be deported, Ram Madhav said.“Please don’t worry, we will handle the deportation of the illegal migrants with care,” he said. Ram Madhav said the Clause Six of the tripartite Assam Accord between Central and Assam Governments with All Assam Students’ Union of 1984 providing Constitutional safeguards will be implemented. It is a commitment made in the Assam Accord and will be implemented, he said. All claims and objections will be duly examined and sufficient opportunity will be given before each claim and objection is disposed of. Only then will the final NRC be published, Sonowal said.Sonowal and Madhav were participating in a seminar on ‘NRC: Defending the borders, securing the culture’ held at New Delhi on Monday. It was organized by Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini. Other speakers included Dr Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, Rajya Sabha MP, Samudra Gupta Kashyap, author and journalist, and Abhijit Majumder,journalist. Sonowal slammed INC for its apathetic attitude to deal with the foreigners’ problem affecting the NE region and dilly-dallying tactics in updating the NRC in its vested interest. The updating of the NRC remained on paper for over 4 decades due to lack of sincerity on the part of INC which was in power, Sonowal said. Unabated influx from Bangladesh cannot be seen as a problem of Assam alone. The State accounts for only a fraction of the total number of illegal migrants in the country. The Census also reveals that undocumented people coming from across  the international border is a national problem .Population increase in the last few decades in West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar and Meghalaya are far beyond the national average. “So this highlights that gravity of the problem of influx of immigrants in India and is a major challenge, and I feel that it is very important for every state to have an NRC,” Sonowal added in an effort to convince the audience about the gigantic national problem.“You will appreciate that unless the border is sealed, the immigration problem can never be solved,” he said. Complementing Prime Minister Narendra Modi for signing the land swap deal with Bangladesh pending for many years, Sonowal said that the border fencing works have been given a boost. This will now lead to sealing of the Indo-Bangladesh border, the Chief Minister said. The first formal decision in this regard was taken in 1999 by the AB Vajpayee government, Sonowal recalled. Then PM Vajpayee had played a pivotal role in highlighting the problem of illegal migration from Bangladesh. Updating the NRC in Assam is the most extensive exercise undertaken to prepare a flawless Register. The State government has deployed over 55,000 employees at the cost of timely implementation of development works. Sonowal said that the NRC exercise has become controversial in India and abroad as many people are suggesting that the NRC work was undertaken to divide the people and would result in bloodshed. Some expressed the apprehension that the exercise would cause unrest in Assam as lakhs of names would be out of the NRC final list. There may be mistakes, but they can be rectified. Genuine citizens who have been left out of the draft NRC need not panic, as they can still get their names in included in the final NRC, Sonowal said. Meanwhile,   Assam governor Jagdish Mukhi, Nagaland governor P.B. Acharya and the influential All Assam Students’ Union have called for a pan-India NRC in the interest of national security.(pic courtesy The Telegraph)

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