Mumbai, Dec 5
The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) has demanded that close on the heels of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) of India, the State Register of Citizens (SRC) of India, should be made applicable for the entire country to prevent Inter- state “illegal” migration of people.
In response to announcement by union home minister Amit Shah in ongoing session of the Parliament, that the NRC would be prepared for every state in the country, MNS leader Sandip Deshpande in a tweet, has demanded that SRCs be set up in every state so that “illegal” migration will be automatically controlled and “sons-of-the soil” will not be deprived of jobs. “There is heavy migration of people from the states like UP, Bihar, Jharkhand in Maharashtra and Delhi and the population of these states swelling. With a population of over 126 million, Maharashtra is the second largest state in India after Uttar Pradesh” he added.
Shah told Rajyasabha in the ongoing session, that “no person, irrespective of religion, needs to fear due to NRC and the Assam govt will extend financial help to people with no money to approach tribunals. The NRC will not be based on religion, he said. In his speeches outside the Parliament, Shah has repeatedly claimed that the Modi government would implement the NRC all over the country and “throw out infiltrators” from every inch of India, before the 2024 general elections.
While MNS has demanded implementation of SRCs throughout the country, the system of Inner Line Permit (ILP) which began in colonial rule, under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act, 1873, is still functional in certain part of the North East India. ILP system restricts the entry and regulates the stay of outsiders in designated areas. ILP is a document that allows an Indian citizen to visit or stay in a state that is protected under the ILP system. The system is in force today in Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram — and no Indian citizen can visit any of these states unless he or she belongs to that state, nor can he or she overstay beyond the period specified in the ILP.
The Union government has not specified any cut off for the proposed NRC yet. While several North eastern states are demanding the NRC, several non-BJP states have turned down the idea. According to unofficial sources, around 50 per cent of the 1.9 million excluded from the NRC are Hindus, the core vote bank for the saffron party.
As per of NRC, foreigners’ tribunals (FTs), quasi-judicial bodies will be set up to determine the citizenship of a person in India. So far, FTs exist only in Assam which hear appeals of those whose citizenship is under question by the Assam Border Police and those who have been excluded in the final NRC list.
Untill now, the Assam was the only state with detention centres housed inside existing jails. The construction of the first and largest official detention centre in Goalpara began in September this year. The camp, to be built at a cost of Rs 45 crore, is expected to hold 3,000 detainees.
The Union Government has already began groundwork, to set up detention centres in certain parts of the country. One such detention centre for “illegal” immigrants has already been built in Sondekoppa in Nelamangala, around 40 km from Bengaluru, in Karnataka, while 3 acre plot of land for such centre has been identified in Navi Mumbai in Maharashtra. However the authorities in Maharashtra have denied links of this centre with the NRC and have maintained that the centre is being set up to detain offenders of illegal passport cases.
The implementation of NRC first began in Assam after Indo-Bangladesh war of 1971. The Assam accord fixed March 25, 1971, as the cut-off date for determining anyone’s right to claim Indian citizenship. This special exception-granting citizenship to those who entered Assam between 1947 and 1971-was made only for Assam. According to Article 6 of the Constitution, applicable in the rest of the country, anybody from East or West Pakistan, who enters India after July 19, 1948, must apply for citizenship.
Raju Vernekar is a Media Professional based in Mumbai and is a regular contributor of Imphal Times. He had served as Chief Reporter at Free Press Journal (1996 – 2015 ). His Activities includes writing for different news papers, script writing/production for TV channels, Films Division. Writing poems in Marathi, Hindi, English, Guiding mass media students and helping people to solve their problems. Raju may be contacted at [email protected]
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