Shillong: Buoyed by the success of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) to detect illegal immigrants in Assam, the North East Students’ Organisation (NESO), an umbrella of student bodies of the region, has demanded a similar exercise in others states too.
“We demand the updation of NRC in other states of the North-east so that we can know the quantum of problem the region is facing,” NESO chairman Samuel B Jyrwa said.
This demand was made after a meeting of the NESO, the All Assam Student’s Union (AASU) and the Khasi Student’s Union (KSU) held in Shillong on Sunday.
Jyrwa said that the demand for an NRC exercise in the whole of the North-east is not a new demand.
Adviser of the AASU, Samujjal Bhattacharya has warned the political parties engaged in politicizing or communalizing the NRC issue.
Bhattacharya alleged that there is a propaganda going on that the NRC was anti-Bengali or anti-Muslim.
According to him the NRC update was anti illegal Bangladeshis and not against any Indian. “This is propaganda by some political leaders of the country. I want to tell such leaders that India is for Indians and Assam and northeast is also for Indians not for illegal Bangladeshis,” Bhattacharya said.
The AASU adviser also said that the indigenous people of the region are not prepared to live as second class citizens in their own motherland and the NRC was a step forward to solve the vexed problem of illegal foreigners.
The AASU Adviser also slammed the political parties for not taking up the issue of illegal immigrants in the Parliament.
“This is a grave situation and what’s happening in the North-east should be discussed in the Parliament,” he added.
He also advised, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) to learn a lesson from the problem in the North-east and save West Bengal for being swamped by illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.
He also said that the NRC was a document to protect the identity of the indigenous people of the North-east.
“Bangladeshis are also entering West Bengal. Concentrate more on securing your borders,” Bhattacharya said.
When asked what the government would do with those people left out when the final NRC list is finalized since Bangladesh had categorically ruled out that they were Bangladeshi citizens, Bhattacharya said that both the countries should sign a bilateral treaty to deport them.
Meanwhile, he also said that those indigenous people whose names do not appear in the final draft need not worry and the NESO and AASU will ensure that their names appear in the final NRC.
On its part, the KSU said that it wants an NRC like exercise in the State where the modalities will be different from Assam.
“The government should find ways and means (to conduct the exercise),” KSU general secretary Donald V Thabah said.
According to Thabah after the publication of the final draft list, the KSU set up its own check gates apprehending that out of the 40 lakh who were rejected from the final draft of the NRC, some might enter Meghalaya and seek refuge here.
“Therefore we had no alternative but to put up our own check gates but after discussion with the Government it was decided that man power in the infiltration check gates will be increased,” Thabah said.
Moreover, Bhattacharya allayed fears that genuine Indians entering Meghalaya will be harassed on the pretext of checking illegal immigrants. “Genuine Indians should not fear; they can contact the KSU, the NESO or the AASU,” he added.