Four million in Indian state risk losing citizenship

A new draft register of citizens includes only those able to prove they were in Assam before 1971, when millions fled Bangladesh's war of independence into the state, and their descendants.

Four million in Indian state risk losing citizenship

World Bulletin / News Desk

India on Monday effectively stripped four million people in Assam of citizenship, sparking fears of mass deportations of Muslims from the northeastern state.

Critics say it is the latest move by the right-wing government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to bolster India's Hindu majority at the expense of minorities. India will hold a national election next year.

The Assam government has brought in 25,000 extra security force members from outside the state in case of trouble. News of the draft register sparked opposition protests in the national parliament, forcing the adjournment of upper-chamber hearings for the day.

Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won control of Assam in 2016 after promising to expel illegal immigrants from mainly Muslim Bangladesh and protect the rights of indigenous groups.

Assam, where one third of the population is Muslim, is the only Indian state to compile a register of citizens.

Where is Assam?

Assam is a state in Northeast India, situated south of the eastern Himalayas along the Brahmaputra and Barak River valleys. Assam covers an area of 78,438 km2.

The state is bordered by Bhutan and the state of Arunachal Pradesh to the north; Nagaland and Manipur to the east; Meghalaya, Tripura, Mizoram and Bangladesh to the south; and West Bengal to the west via the Siliguri Corridor, a 22 kilometres strip of land that connects the state to the rest of India.

According to the 2011 census, 61.47% were Hindus, 34.22% were Muslims.

Last Mod: 30 Temmuz 2018, 16:56
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