Approach to NRC is weak, says Cong. MP

India's Assam on the edge over 'polarizing' National Record of Citizens

In a statement, it said the register only lists those people as citizens who can prove that they or their ancestors entered India before midnight on 24 March 1971, the eve of the war that led to the creation of Bangladesh.

A full-blown political row has erupted ever since the final draft of Assam's NRC was published on Monday. The local border police declined to discuss individual cases, but said not all documents furnished by suspected illegal immigrants were valid.

But it has sparked fears of a witch hunt against Assam's ethnic minorities. She has critiques the ruling party and accused them of turning Indians into refugees in their own country. Numerous refugees settled in Assam.

Assam has been racked by waves of violence over the years as residents, including tribal groups, have clashed with both Hindu and Muslim settlers, whom they accuse of plundering resources and taking away jobs. "These are irritants", she said. The discussion saw Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad expressing concern over the families affected by the NRC terming it a matter related to 1.5 crore families. Their paperwork, if it exists, is often inaccurate.

Several people whose names were not in the draft have claimed that they had submitted the same set of documents as their family members to establish their legacy date, but were left out.

But Bengali campaigner Nazrul Ali Ahmed is adamant that the NRC is serving another agenda entirely. "We are grateful to India for hosting them". The Supreme Court ordered the State to take into account the degree of illegal migrants.

What next for the "stateless"?

But neighbouring Bangladesh will definitely not accede to such a request.

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Hundreds of thousands of people fled to India from Bangladesh during its New Delhi-backed war of independence from Pakistan in the early 1970s.

"Don't genuine citizens of this country have human rights?" The BJP will not confine its movement to Assam.

"Everyone will be given a right to prove their citizenship", he told the BBC.

"Many people have been identified as foreigners and they are to be sent back".

That, Mr Bhattacharya clarified, would mean expulsion from India.

During the 2014 election campaign, would-be PM Modi had openly declared that Bangladeshi Muslims living illegally in India posed a threat to India's security and integrity. India does not have an agreement on deportation with Bangladesh.

All Moran Students' Union president Arunjyoti Moran is quoted as saying, "The NRC is the first step towards making our state free from illegal immigrants. We are not prepared to be second-class citizens". "We can live peacefully side-by-side", she says.

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