Why 4 million people in this Indian state risk losing citizenship

The NRC has been updated after nearly seven decades as part of a campaign to identify undocumented immigrants from Bangladesh

Congress president Rahul Gandhi had said, "There are reports pouring in from all corners of Assam of Indian citizens finding their names missing in the draft NRC, creating massive insecurity in the state".

The process of updating NRC in Assam differs from the rest of the country and is governed by Rule 4A and the corresponding Schedule of the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and issue of national identity cards) Rules, 2003.

"No genuine Indian citizens need to worry as there will be ample opportunities given to them to enlist their names in the final list", he told a news conference in Assam's biggest city Guwahati. "There are states also such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and others where like Assam illegal Bangladeshi immigrants are staying", Agarwal said.

A high alert has also been sounded along the Assam-Bengal border after the final draft of the NRC was released on Monday, by the Assam government. As many as 1.9 crore people were included as legal citizens of India in the first draft.

Claiming that no Indian citizen was debarred by the NRC, Shah accused the Congress and the Trinamool of spreading lies and misinformation.

Meanwhile, police and security forces in Tamenglong district have been directed to step up security measure to check intrusion of illegal migrants from a railway station close to state border in the district.

Many residents of Assam have long protested against the presence of "foreigners", which include both Hindus and Muslims. Hundreds of Bengali-speaking Muslims whose nationality is suspect are living in half a dozen detention camps in Assam state. The state's BJP spokesman was not immediately available for comment, but India's home minister, Rajnath Singh, called the registration process impartial.

While Modi and his BJP government plan to remove those they deem "foreigners" from Assam state, local officials are assuring those recently designated as foreigners will not be immediately deported.

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The Assam Accord, which was signed between the government and the protesters, was able to bring a consensus on the eligibility criteria for citizenship.

"The worldwide community is fighting to stop a process that is alarmingly on track to potentially render millions of people stateless, and vulnerable to indefinite detention, violence or worse", said Ricken Patel, Avaaz executive director.

"These people will become stateless - their future remains hanging", Mahanta said.

India's Election Commission introduced the concept of "D" voters in 1997 under which a person's citizenship rights are stripped. "I also urge people not to make any communal statements and remain watchful against falling prey to rumours".

On Monday, the NRC released the second and final draft which had 2.89 crore names in total.

The much-awaited complete NRC draft was published today amid tight security.

The country's Supreme Court which has been supervising the registration, had initially set June 30 as the deadline to publish the draft list.

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