KOLKATA : THE NRC is “a must” for national security and will be implemented, Union Home Minister Amit Shah declared on Tuesday but made it clear that Hindu, Sikh, Jain and Buddhist refugees will be accorded Indian citizenship beforehand with the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.Addressing a BJP seminar on the National Register of Citizens, which has hitherto remained confined to Assam, the party President accused West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her party TMC of misleading the people on the issue.
The TMC has sought to project the NRC exercise in Assam as an “anti-Bengali” move after nearly 12 lakh Bengali speaking people, including a large number of Hindus, were left out of the final list of citizens published on August 31. “People of Bengal are being misled on the issue of NRC. I am here today to clear all doubts on the BJP’s stand .... Mamata Di is saying that millions of Hindus will have to leave West Bengal. There cannot be a bigger lie than this. “I want to assure the people of Bengal NRC will be implemented but nothing of this sort is going to happen. I assure all Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Jain refugees they won’t have to leave the country, they will get Indian citizenship and enjoy all the rights of an Indian national,” Shah said in an attempt to dispel fears over the NRC in the State.
Alarmed at the possibility of the NRC being replicated in the State, people have been rushing to Government and municipal offices in droves over the last few days to obtain documents that could prove West Bengal has been their place of residence for long. Banerjee, a strident critic of both the BJP and the NRC, has claimed 11 people have committed suicide so far out of fear of being rendered stateless in the event of the citizenship register being prepared in the State, and declared she will never allow the exercise to be undertaken in West Bengal..
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