Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat on Monday said his administration will implement the National Register of Citizens if the need arises, The Indian Express reported. Rawat is the fourth Bharatiya Janata Party chief minister – after Haryana’s Manohar Lal Khattar, Uttar Pradesh’s Adityanath and Manipur’s Biren Singh – to express such sentiments since the final NRC list was published in Assam on August 31. It excluded around 19 lakh individuals.

“We will see if it is needed in our state or not,” Rawat told mediapersons on the sidelines of an event in Dehradun. “But yes, the issue of NRC which has been raised is justified. It has been a problem from a long time and the intellectual class had been discussing that infiltration has occurred at a large scale. To prevent such infiltration, I believe that NRC, which other states have implemented, is a right step.”

He added that he will discuss it with his Cabinet. “If found necessary, it will be implemented in the state,” he said. “Since our state has international borders, if any such matter arises, that could be a serious problem.” Uttarakhand shares its border with China and Nepal.

Also read:

  1. Haryana will implement National Register of Citizens, says Chief Minister ML Khattar
  2. Uttar Pradesh may implement NRC in phases, says Adityanath
  3. Manipur will approach Centre for implementation of NRC, says Chief Minister Biren Singh

The Congress, meanwhile, mocked the BJP and suggested that it should implement the NRC across the world. “Why not carry out NRC in the whole world,” asked Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, according to ANI. “Even we need to know how many ‘infiltrators’ are there in the country.”

He added that the government should make its stand on NRC clear. “The government does not have any guidelines on where the people will be sent,” he said. “When union ministers go to Bangladesh, they say that we won’t send them there. So where will we send them? The government should clarify their stand.”

The Assam NRC, published on August 31, left out around 6% of the state’s entire population, two times the number of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, and the population of Nagaland. They will now have to appeal against the decision in foreigners’ tribunals. The final NRC was criticised by the Bharatiya Janata Party, with state Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and the party’s state President Ranjit Dass rejecting it. While Sarma said the Supreme Court should allow reverification of names on the list, Dass said the party did not trust the final list.

A “people’s tribunal” has also pointed out flaws in the Supreme Court’s role in the compilation of Assam’s National Register of Citizens. The tribunal observed that the top court’s role had raised important constitutional concerns. It said the Supreme Court judgement that paved the way for the NRC exercise had relied upon “unverified, and now disproved, data to hold that migration amounted to ‘external aggression’ upon India”. In doing so, the court “in effect, dehumanised migrants and infringed their rights to liberty and dignity”, the tribunal said.

Also read:

How Assam’s National Register of Citizens counted people – from 2015 to 2019

Read the stories of those who are most affected by the NRC exercise in our series: The Final Count.

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