New Delhi: Once again pitching for the National Register of Citizen to be a nationwide exercise and not just restricted to Assam, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday told the Rajya Sabha that the government will ensure that all illegal settlers in India are deported as per international law.
The minister was replying to a supplementary query by Samajwadi Party member Javed Ali Khan on whether the National Register of Citizens (NRC) will be implemented in other states as well.
"Currently, the NRC is a part of Assam Accord. The Centre – as per its election manifesto – is dedicated to weaning out illegal immigrants from every inch of this country. We will make sure that all such immigrants are deported as per international law," he said.
Shah’s statement came on a day when his ministry informed the House that it was contemplating pushing the July 31 deadline to release the final NRC in Assam further to "maintain fairness" of procedure.
Noting that the Centre has received many representations for extending the NRC deadline in Assam, Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai said a petition signed by about 25 lakh applicants submitted to the Centre and the President demanded extension to correct anomalies.
Since many genuine names have been left out and many bogus names are registered, the minister said, "So the government has requested the (Supreme) Court to extend the time for this purpose. There will be some delay but the NRC will be implemented properly without any faults," he said, asserting that the government's intention is to ensure no genuine citizen is left out of the NRC.
To a query on number of Rohingya Muslims in India, Rai said, "We don't have an accurate data. They are spread across the country. Some of them have gone back to Bangladesh. We will get the data soon."
The government's intention is to ensure no illegal immigrant is registered under the NRC. Foreigner tribunals have also been set up to curb illegal stay of foreigners in India, he added.
The NRC in Assam is a document that will contain the names of all “genuine citizens” of the state. It has been extremely controversial, with many saying they have been unfairly left out of the citizenship lists. Nearly 41 lakh people have been excluded from the final draft NRC, of which 36 lakh have filed claims against the exclusion. It is currently being updated under the strict monitoring of the Supreme Court.
The BJP, on the other hand, has hailed the move as strong action against “infiltrators”.
In its manifesto for the Lok Sabha elections, the party had promised to “implement the NRC in a phased manner in other parts of the country”. He has also said that the government would bring a Bill in Parliament to provide citizenship to “Hindus refugees” left out of the NRC.
Shah, while addressing a poll rally in Darjeeling district in West Bengal in April, had also said that the National Register of Citizens will be implemented across the entire country, and had made a similar claim in August last year too.