The North East Linguistic and Ethnic Co-ordination Committee will stage a protest on September 24 in the three districts of south Assam’s Barak Valley — Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi. It has demanded that the names of all Hindus be included in the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and provisions of the Foreigners’ Act, 1946 and the Passport (Entry to India) Act, 1920 implemented.
The Centre issued a notification on September 7, 2015, stating that the provisions applicable to the entire country under the Foreigners’ Act, 1946 and Passport (Entry to India) Act, 1920 would be implemented.
Prior to the 2014 general elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced that Hindu migrants would be protected and all non-Muslims fleeing religious persecution in neighbouring Islamic countries upto December 31, 2014 would be offered sanctuary in India.
The names of over 19 lakh people, of the total 3,30,27,661 applicants, were excluded from the final NRC published on August 31. Of them, nearly 11 lakh people are believed to be Hindu Bengalis.
The purpose of updating the NRC was to identify illegal migrants who entered Assam after March 24, 1971.
Those excluded from the final list will have to appeal in foreigners tribunal within 120 days of being notified.
All members of the Sangh Parivar have extended their support towards the committee’s decision.
The committee said they would stage demonstrations in front of the offices of the deputy commissioners of Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi districts for three hours and submit memoranda to President Ram Nath Kovind, the Prime Minister and Assam governor Jagdish Mukhi and chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal, among others.
The notification said, “The Centre has decided to exempt Bangladeshi and Pakistani nationals belonging to minority communities who have entered India on or before December 31, 2014, from the relevant provisions of rules and order made under the Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920, and the Foreigners Act, 1946, in respect of their entry and stay in India without such documents or after the expiry of those documents, as the case may be.
“There are reports that a number of Bangladeshi and Pakistani nationals belonging to minority communities were compelled to seek shelter in India due to religious persecution or fear of religious persecution. They have entered India either without any valid document, including passport/other travel document or with valid documents but the validity of such document has expired.”