India: India’s National Register of Citizen (NRC): Millions are frightened of the Rohingya style of uprooting

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India’s four million Assamese in the north-eastern region will be potentially stripped off their citizenship many of them are from the Bengali minority. Such procedure is feared to be discriminatory and will deprive millions from their rights to citizenship and would have devastating consequences on a region which has suffered hugely rather similar policy in the neighbouring countries.

AFD international is very suspicious about the timing the government has chosen to update its NRC in the Assam state. A move, which if its motives are other than administrative procedure, will be putting the lives and future of vulnerable people for cheap political gimmick.

Many Assamese will be forced to become stateless and their fate and the fate of their children will be thrown into the abyss of uncertainty. Moreover, the appeal system put in place is painfully slow and will need huge assistance for ordinary people to follow and understand.

Many Bengali Muslims in the region are fearful of being targeted by this current Hindu government that does not shy away from adopting anti Muslim discourse.

AFD International is very concerned that the updating of such register will spark tension and sink the country into further sectarianism and prosecution of Minorities in the state of Assam.

In this context, AFD International, would like to remind the Indian authorities about their commitment to Minorities as enshrined in the Indian constitution and other international minority conventions, especially the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities.

Finally, we suggest that the revision of the NRC must take a humanitarian approach and take into considerations the human cost of any future removal.

AFD International
Asia & Pacific Department
August 2018

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