India says it has excluded more than 4 million people from a draft list of citizens in the north-eastern state of Assam who could not produce valid documents, a move that has sparked fears about the future of thousands in the region.
"Although we have been told that we can apply once again to get our names enlisted in the citizenship list, we are anxious about our future", said Nur Banu, a 45-year-old woman from the Darrang district, whose family of six was missing from the list.
"They are misleading the people in believing that Indian citizens have been delisted from the NRC".
"The over 40 lakh people, who have been kept out of the NRC, are infiltrators". For BJP, NRC is key to security of the country, he added.
But Asmita Basu, programmes director at Amnesty International India, said the government had failed to make clear what would happen to those rendered stateless.
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. Whom do you want to save? Pointing that it is a draft NRC, the top court said that it does not form basis of any action by the authorities.
"NRC was the Congress initiative but Congress did not have the courage to implement it". "Imagine what a family will go through if your mother, grandmother or wife is declared a foreigner", said a government official here.
The country's Supreme Court which has been supervising the registration, had initially set June 30 as the deadline to publish the draft list. "Do they not have any human rights?" Don't the people have Assam have human rights? Isn " t it a violation of national security?" he said.
"Every individual of Assam state will be given adequate time and opportunity to prove his or her claim", the diplomat said, citing the Indian home minister's statement that every individual will get "justice" and will be treated in a "humane manner". We have never practiced vote bank politics.
Assam has been in the grip of social and communal tension as locals campaign against "illegal immigrants".
He also accused the opposition parties of trying to portray the BJP as a party trying to divide the country.
"Rajiv Gandhi signed the Assam Accord in 1985. There will be a civil war, blood bath in the country", Banerjee told a conclave here.
When the proceedings resumed, Trinamool leader Derek O'Brien said: "Sir, why are you calling a break like this?" He also slammed Congress over its "habit" of changing its stand on political issues. According to Abed Khan, a journalist with the vernacular "Dainik Jagran" paper and based out of Dhaka, the few newspapers that did take note restricted themselves to carrying worldwide news agency copies rather than their own reports. "Mamata Banerjee is raking it up for political gains", he said.