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No discrimination on basis of religion in NRC, says Amit Shah

No discrimination on basis of religion in NRC, says Amit Shah

New Delhi: The National Register of Citizens (NRC) process will be carried out across India, Union Home minister Amit Shah said in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday while making it clear that no person of any religion should worry.

Shah said the government accepts that refugees — Hindu, Buddhists, Jain, Christians, Sikhs and Parsis — who left Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan due to religious atrocities should get Indian citizenship.

"The process of the NRC will be carried out across the country. No one irrespective of their religion should be worried. It is just a process to get everyone under the NRC," he said replying to a supplementary during Question Hour in the Upper House.

He said there is no provision in NRC that people belonging to other religions will not be included in the register.

"People from all religions who are Indian citizens will be included. There is no question of any discrimination on the basis of religion. NRC is a different process and the Citizenship Amendment Bill is different," Shah said.

In Assam, the NRC process was carried out as per Supreme Court order, he said and added that when the NRC process will be implemented in the entire country Assam will also be included.

The Home Minister said that in Assam, people whose name has not figured in the draft list, have the right to go to the Tribunal.

"Tribunals will be constituted across Assam. If any person doesn't have the money to approach tribunals, then the Assam government will bear the cost to hire a lawyer," he said.

He reiterated that all citizens of India irrespective of religion will figure in the NRC list.

The Home Minister said the government accepts that Hindu refugees, Buddhists, Jains, Christians, Sikhs and Parsis should get this country's citizenship and this is why the Citizenship Amendment Bill is there.

"All refugees coming from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan on account of religious atrocities will get citizenship under the Bill," he said.

Meanwhile, Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday challenged the Centre on the contentious NRC issue and reiterated that she will never allow the exercise in the state.

Stating that the NRC in Assam was part of the Assam Accord signed during the tenure of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, she said the exercise can never be implemented across the country.

"There are a few people who are trying to create disturbance in the state in the name of implementation of NRC. I want to make it very clear that I will never allow NRC in Bengal as long as I am in power in the state," she said at a public meeting at Sagardighi in Murshidabad.

"No one can take away your (people) citizenship and turn you into a refugee. You are and will remain citizens of this country. There can be no division on the basis of religion," Banerjee maintained.

Claiming that there is a "conspiracy" afoot to divide the state on religious lines, Banerjee said if someone thinks that it will be easy to divide Bengal on communal lines, then the person is "living in a fool's paradise".

Bengal shares a long and porous border with Bangladesh and has about 30 per cent Muslim population.

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