Muslim survivors of Indian massacre shaken by citizenship test


"Only after that will a final list be published".

"If the government has chose to brand us foreigners what can we do?" said Abdul Suban, 60, a Bengali-speaking Muslim, earlier.

India on Monday effectively stripped four million people in Assam of citizenship, sparking fears of mass deportations of Muslims from the northeastern state.

Reuters notes, "Critics see the citizenship test as another measure supported by Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) aimed at minority Muslims".

Modi's Hindu nationalist government - under whom extremist violence against Muslims has increased - has said the list must be revised to root out illegal migrants.

The NRC is an application-based process and if someone does not apply for inclusion of name, that person's name will not figure in the list, however prominent the individual may be, the official said. We are anxious because people are being made refugees in their own country. One name missing from the list was Mohd Azmal Hoque, a retired soldier from Assam who had served in the military for 30 years and retired on September 30, 2016.

Earlier today, Assam published its updated draft of National Register of Citizens.

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The arrival of millions of refugees to Assam in 1971 - when Bangladesh seceded from Pakistan after a bloody civil war - brought the issue of these so-called foreigners into national focus.

As per the Assam Accord, an agreement signed by then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1985, all those who can not prove that they came to the north-eastern state before 24 March 1971, will be deleted from electoral rolls, and expelled.

Azmal Haque, 50, a resident of Chaygaon in Assam's Kamrup district, said his name was omitted despite submitting all "valid documents". They settled in Assam, which borders the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan to the north and Bangladesh to the south and is home to several rebel groups. About 2,000 Muslims, including children, were masscared in a single day in Assam's Nellie village in 1983 at the height of the anti-foreigners agitation.

The NRC office, however, told the Supreme Court this month that 150,000 people from the first list, a third of them married women, would be dropped from the next one, mainly because they provided false information or gave inadmissible documents.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh called the draft "completely impartial" and said, "some people are unnecessarily trying to create an atmosphere of fear". "Hence, there is no need for anyone to panic", he told reporters in New Delhi.

Political activists in Assam say most of those are Bengali-speaking Muslims. The mammoth three-year-long exercise to prove the identities of 33 million people across the hills, valleys and plains of this verdant state began two years ago.