West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of creating panic in the state over the National Register of Citizens, and claimed it has led to the death of six people in the state, PTI reported.
The chief minister is a strong critic of the database of citizens, and she reiterated once again that she will not allow NRC to be enforced in her state. The final list of Assam’s National Register of Citizens was published on August 31. Nineteen lakh people were excluded from the list.
“NRC exercise will not be carried out in Bengal or anywhere else in country, it was conducted in Assam due to Assam accord,” Banerjee reiterated at a trade unions’ meet in Kolkata.
The NRC borrowed its criteria for citizenship from the Assam Accord of 1985, which had provisions to detect “illegal migrants”, delete them from electoral rolls and deport them. It was signed between the then Rajiv Gandhi government and the All Assam Students’ Union.
“Shame on the BJP for creating panic over NRC in Bengal, it has led to six deaths,” Banerjee claimed. “Have faith in me, I will never allow the exercise in Bengal.”
She also attacked the government for “undermining democratic values” in the country. “Democracy exists in Bengal but it is under threat in several other parts of the country,” she said.
Banerjee claimed the BJP wants to serve its own political interests and was not interested in discussing job losses or the situation about the economy.
She spoke about the violence in Jadavpur University and said the people of Bengal have seen what the BJP and Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad did at the institute.
“They try to use wield power everywhere, bulldoze everything,” Banerjee said.
Congress North 24-Parganas Secretary Biswajit Roy claimed at least five people have died so far over NRC fears in Bengal. “In Assam, the number is over 40,” Roy told The Telegraph. “Their blood is on the BJP’s hands.”
On Sunday, a labourer from Soladana village was found hanging in a mango orchard. His wife Tuktuki Biwi claimed he died over fears to do with the NRC. She told the newspaper that he had sought help from people, “But he remained extremely anxious and ended his life over NRC fears.”
Another farmer in Bengal’s Daspur fell ill after he failed to get his land records. His family alleged that this led to him suffering a heart attack. He died on Sunday.
The deaths allegedly took the toll in Basirhat alone to four in three days.
Roy claimed the Centre was responsible for the deaths. “They are worsening the panic,” he said. “The fear is palpable in North 24-Parganas. We are now apprehensive of more deaths because of this panic, unless the NRC propaganda is stopped.”
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