Responding to the 2nd final draft of the National Register for Citizens (NRC) released today Popular Front of India chairman E Abubacker, in a statement, cautioned about a very big humanitarian tragedy that has emerged in Assam. He has called for urgent interventions of the government, judiciary, national political parties and human rights agencies to prevent a large population of Bengali speaking Indian citizens in Assam becoming refugees in own homeland.
It is deeply shocking that above 40 lakh people, mostly Bengali speaking Assamese, have been excluded from the 2nd final draft of NRC. If the decision is allowed to stand, they are almost doomed to be declared illegal immigrants in the land they were born. What is waiting for them is the denial of all kinds of citizenship, political and human rights violations, followed by police and army excesses.
The assurances by the central and state governments that they would not be immediately deported or sent to camps are not indicative of any intention to solve the problem. Official claim is that they still have a chance of getting into the list if they succeed in proving their citizenship within a month from August 30 to September 20. This amounts to cruel joke since it is practically impossible for such a large number of people to finish the process in such a short period. Besides being victims of negligence and torture, a large section of Bengalis in Assam, hit by frequent calamities, doesn’t even have a settled life and have to keep moving from place to place. Such people cannot produce any documents proving their citizenship.
Either Bangladesh or West Bengal state are not ready to accept those deported from Assam. No refugee camp or open jail will be enough to hold even half the number of people who are declared by NRC as foreigners. Hence it is important to realise the real agenda of the racist and fascist forces that are behind this move. It is to deny citizenship rights, mainly voting rights to majority of Bengali population who are mostly Muslim well before 2019 Lok Sabha elections. At this hour of threat to their very existence as Indian citizens, E Abubacker expressed solidarity with the victimised people of Assam.