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NRC won't be allowed in Bengal, Hakim assures city residents

Kolkata: Mayor Firhad Hakim on Friday urged the councillors to take up awareness in their respective wards, assuring the residents that the exercise of National Register of Citizens (NRC) will not be allowed in Bengal.

"Panic regarding NRC has been spreading in the state. The KMC has been witnessing a surge in footfall of citizens at its headquarters for collecting birth certificates. Leaders of a party (BJP) who is at the Centre have been constantly engaged in intimidating the Indian citizens regarding NRC. Names of about 19 lakh people in Assam were dropped from the NRC list and most of them speak Bengali," Hakim said.

He blamed the Prime Minister and the Union Home minister for instilling a sense of fear among the citizens of the country. "Why should a citizen of India live in fear in their own country? In Bengal, our Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will ensure that the state remains united. There is no need to panic," he reiterated.

The response from the Mayor came in reply to a proposal raised by Congress councillor Prakash Upadhyay at the monthly meeting. Upadhyay said that for the past few days, people have been flocking to the KMC headquarters to obtain their birth certificates.

"The BJP's claims to implement NRC here have created panic among people who are running from pillar to post to obtain documents, thinking they might be asked to leave the state when NRC is implemented. This is unfair. The Mayor, being the first citizen, needs to assure people that no such thing will take place here and should take measures towards the same," he said.

Hakim also pointed out that some people in the state have died because of the NRC panic that is being spread by the BJP. "While implementing NRC in Assam they have ended up striking out the names of 13 lakh Bengali Hindus. Following this they are regretting and are now saying that they will come up with Citizen Amendment Bill (CAB). Both NRC and CAB are farce and will be declared illegal," he added.

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