- NRC "just a process" to get everyone under citizens' list": Amit Shah
- The Assam citizen's list left out 19 lakh people
- Mr Shah said those whose names are missing can approach tribunals
A citizen's list or National Register for Citizens (NRC) on the lines of the exercise in Assam will be carried out across the country, Home Minister Amit Shah announced in parliament today, asserting that "no one from any religion should be worried".
Speaking in the Rajya Sabha, Amit Shah said the NRC is "just a process" to get everyone under the citizen's list.
"The Assam exercise was carried out under a Supreme Court order. NRC will be carried out across the country, will be done in Assam again at the time, no one from any religion should be worried," he said.
The Assam citizen's list, put out in August, left out 19 lakh people.
Most of these are people who haven't produced adequate documents to prove their claims, according to officials; the government says they will not be declared illegal immediately. They have the option of appealing to Foreigners' Tribunals and subsequently approach the courts.
The Home Minister said people whose names were missing from the NRC can approach tribunals and the Assam government will even provide financial help.
Earlier, Mr Shah had said at a rally in Kolkata that the NRC was a matter of national security and "no country can run smoothly under the weight of so many intruders".
Accusing Mamata Banerjee of spreading lies about "millions of Hindus" having to leave Bengal, he asserted: "I today want to assure Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist and Christian refugees, you will not be forced to leave India by the government. Don't believe rumours. Before NRC, we will bring the Citizenship Amendment Bill, which will ensure these people get Indian citizenship."
The comments were viewed a divisive by critics and opposition parties accused the government of trying to intimidate Muslims with such statements.