Asked if NRC will be extended, Centre refrains from direct answer, presents Assam details

Asked if NRC will be extended, Centre refrains from direct answer, presents Assam details

The Union government on Tuesday did not give a direct answer on whether the National Register for Citizens (NRC) will be extended beyond Assam.

In response to a question, the Home Ministry said the provisions under which NRC was being conducted in Assam, without mentioning whether it will be applied anywhere else.

This comes days after President Ram Nath Kovind mentioned in his address to the joint sitting of Parliament on June 20 that NRC will be implemented in areas affected by infiltration.

BJP MPs Manoj Tiwari and Ravi Kishan had asked the Home Ministry about states where people are “being enlisted in” NRC, whether it will be extended across the country”, and steps taken to stop illegal immigrants from coming to India.

In response, Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai said the NRC is being updated at present in Assam “as per provisions of Citizenship Act, 1955, and the provisions contained in the Schedule framed under Rule 4A (4) of Citizenship Rules, 2003”. He said the NRC in Assam was prepared in 1951, and the “exercise to update NRC 1951 is being conducted under special provisions in respect of the State of Assam”.

Regarding other issues raised by Kishan and Tiwari, Rai said detection and deportation of illegal immigrants is a continuous process and “instructions have been issued to the state governments… for taking appropriate and prompt steps for identification of illegal migrants, their restriction to specified locations as per provisions of law, capturing their biographic and biometric particulars, cancellation of fake Indian documents obtained by them and initiation of legal proceeding including deportation proceedings as per provisions of law”, among other steps.

In his speech, the President said “illegal infiltrators pose a major threat to our internal security… leading to social imbalance in many parts of the country, as well as putting a huge pressure on limited livelihood opportunities”.

He said the government had “decided to implement the process of National Register of Citizens on priority basis in areas affected by infiltration” and “security along the border will be further strengthened to prevent infiltration”.