NRC coordinator says 40 lakh people left out of second draft cannot all be called ‘infiltrators’
Prateek Haleja’s remarks came after BJP President Amit Shah said the register would weed out Bangladeshi ‘infiltrators’.
Assam’s National Register of Citizens Coordinator Prateek Haleja on Wednesday said that the 40 lakh people left out of its second draft cannot all be described as “ghuspethiye” or infiltrators. His remark came a day after Bharatiya Janata Party National President Amit Shah said that the register would weed out “ghuspethiye” from Bangladesh.
“No, we can’t say all these 40 lakh are infiltrators,” Haleja told The Indian Express in an interview. “These people will get another chance to prove their credentials. Then we will come out with a final NRC.”
He said that even after the final draft comes out, only a judicial scrutiny through the Foreigners Tribunal will be able to decide whether a person residing in Assam is an “illegal migrant”. Haleja admitted that there could be “errors” in the second list, but added that the people will have the right to “object to any entry”.
“The NRC is for protecting human rights, the rights of Indians,” Shah said on Tuesday. “The country cannot run like this. You cannot have people from everywhere.”
The final draft of the National Register of Citizens verifies 2.89 crore people, out of the 3.29 crore who had applied, as legal citizens of India. The stated aim of the counting exercise is to separate genuine Indian citizens from so-called illegal migrants who might be living in the state. According to the terms of the exercise, anyone who could not prove that they or their ancestors had entered the state before midnight on March 24, 1971, would be declared a foreigner.