The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom has condemned the Assam National Register of Citizens (NRC) for discriminating against the Muslim community. Moreover, a top US official had contended that the NRC, which is being updated to verify 'citizenship' and weed out alleged Bangladeshi nationals, will "create a negative and potentially dangerous climate for the Muslim community in northeastern India."
This 'analysis' of the NRC by a top United States Federal body has drawn the ire of indigenous leaders, including All Assam Students' Union (AASU) leader Samujjal Bhattacharya, who has lashed out and said that these organizations do not understand the "ground realities" of Assam.
Speaking to Inside Northeast, Bhattacharya said that the NRC has nothing to do with religion. "Its a question of citizen and non-citizen. It is not a new thing, it was prepared in 1951, but it was not updated, and now, it is being updated based on the Assam Accord."
In the name of human rights, some forces -- in Assam, India, and the Globe, they are trying to protect the interests of the illegal Bangladeshis. "The Supreme Court has said that due to the huge influx of illegal foreigners there is external aggression and internal disturbance", he said. The AASU leader further appealed these organizations to come to Assam and see for themselves that the people in Assam, are, in fact, the ones who are under stress.
Bhattacharya further contended that it a legal process that is being monitored by the Supreme Court. "When some person or some organization equates the NRC with religion, that is completely baseless. It seems like they are trying to protect the rights of illegal Bangladeshi migrants in Assam", he said, adding that. in reality, the rights of the indigenous Assamese citizens are being trampled upon by the "illegal Bangladeshi nationals."
"We have already shown our humanitarian consideration. Assam is a small state, we cannot take beyond '71 Muslims and Hindus. Nobody should try to communalize this issue. But some forces are trying to protect the Hindu Bangladeshi votebanks, and the Muslim Bangladeshi votebanks. They should stop doing that", he warned.
The AASU leader also stated that the indigenous "sons of the soil" of Assam have been "suffering" because of the illegal Bangladeshis for 40 years, adding that "India, Assam, and Northeast are not places for illegal Bangladeshis."
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