After the updated National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam raised questions of discrimination on basis of religion, Union Home Minister Amit Shah Wednesday said the NRC process will be carried out across the country, including Assam, and assured Parliament that “all citizens of India”, irrespective of religion, will figure in the list.
“NRC has no such provision which says that certain religions will be excluded from it. All citizens of India irrespective of religion will figure in the NRC list. The NRC is different from Citizenship Amendement Bill,” said Shah in the Rajya Sabha.
“The process of 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,” he added.
In Assam, the NRC process was carried out as per Supreme Court order, he said and added that when the NRC process will be implemented in the entire country Assam will also be included.
The Home Minister said that in Assam, people whose name has not figured in the draft list, have the right to go to the Tribunal.
“People whose name ahve not figured in the draft list have the right to go to the Tribunal. Tribunals will be constitued across Assam. For those who can’t afford legal counsel for the Tribunal, the Assam government will bear the cost to hire a lawyer,” he said.
Defending the Citizenship Amendment Bill, he said it was passed to protect Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Jain, Christian, Parsi refugees who are being discriminated on basis of religion in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
On January 8, the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, was passed in the Lok Sabha to grant citizenship to non-muslims from neighbouring countries who came to India before December 31, 2014.
In the final NRC list of Assam, published on August 31, 19,06,657 people were excluded and 3,11,21,004 were found eligible.