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The National Register of Citizens (NRC) will be carried out across the country, Union Home Minister Amit Shah today told the Parliament and said that no one should fear the process.

“No one, irrespective of their religion, needs to worry. It is just a process to get everyone under the NRC,” he said.

In Assam, the final NRC has left out over 19 lakh people. The NRC aimed to identify illegal immigrants who entered the state and settled after March 25, 1971.

The BJP chief said that people whose names are missing from the NRC can approach tribunals formed at the tehsil level. The Assam government will provide financial help to those who don’t have the money to file pleas, he said.

Meanwhile, the centre plans to amend the Citizenship Act in the Winter Session. The Citizenship Amendment Bill speeds up the process under which non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan can get Indian citizenship.

“Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Jain, Christian, Parsi refugees should get citizenship. The Citizenship Amendment Bill is needed so that these refugees who are being discriminated on basis of religion in Pakistan, Bangladesh or Afghanistan, get Indian citizenship,” Shah said in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

There has been stiff opposition from various political parties on the proposed bill. In Assam, protesters have argued that it goes against the provisions of the Assam Accord that seek to safeguard the interests of indigenous people.

Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday called it “another trap like the NRC.”

She alleged that CAB was part of BJP’s “divisive politics” to make electoral gains. “It is a trap to exclude Bengalis and Hindus from the list of legal citizens and make them refugees in their own country,” Banerjee said at a rally in north Bengal.

— India Legal Bureau

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