A AKHTER / New Delhi
A prominent body of Muslim in the country, Jamiat Ulama-E-Hind led by Maulana Arshad Madani has warned that any attempt to sabotage the ongoing updation of National Register of Citizens in the north eastern state of Assam will create a situation like Myanmar.
It alleged that efforts were being made to bar lakhs of women from enlisting their names in the National Register of Citizens (NRC), which is being updated in Assam.
“If panchayat-issued residency certificates are not considered a valid document for claiming citizenship, “lakhs” of Assam’s woman residents will be deprived of their nationality, turning India into second Myanmar, Jamiat president Maulana Syed Arshad Madani warned.
At a press briefing here today, Madani said if residency certificates are not considered 48 lakh women likely to be affected in Assam.
The panchayat-issued certificate is a supporting document which indicates residential status of a married woman, who after marriage has left her parental place and is now living at the place of her husband, according to a statement issued by the Delhi Action Committee for Assam (DACA).
The Gauhati High Court earlier this year ruled that the certificate issued by panchayat secretary had no statutory sanctity and could at best be a private document. The Jamiat and some other organisations have challenged the order in the Supreme Court.
The Assam Action Committee has said that the decision of Guwahati High Court to strike down validity of the certificate issued by village panchayat secretary as a supporting document which indicates the residential status of a married woman has put a question mark on the nationality of some 48 lakh married women of Assam.
Jamiat chief said that it is necessary for the Government to respect the Assam Accord and strictly follow its terms and conditions. He has challenged Guwahati HC decision in the Supreme Court.
Professor Hiren Gohain, one of the delegate said that, “Assam is the only state where updation of National Register of Citizens is going on, but certain political forces are trying to disrupt updation. An intelligence report has said that updation may lead to law and order situation in some areas.”
“The rise in Muslim population can be attributed to poverty, illiteracy and their aversion to birth control measures but to claim that most have been pushed into Assam from Bangladesh for political gains is certainly a figment of imagination,” he added.
Madani, however, stressed that the problem of certificate arose after the BJP-led governments came to power at the Centre and in the state.
“An effort is being made to prepare a ground to remove the women from the NRC. These are 48 lakh women…They will be deprived of their nationality,” Madani said.
Without naming anyone, he added, “…These people will be pushed out of India. The situation that prevails in Myanmar, they now want to make India a second Myanmar.”
He was referring to the mass exodus of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar to other countries including India. “We want the world to know what is happening in Assam now,” he said.
Madani also insisted that the state government strictly adheres to the Assam Accord, framed in 1985, while the issue of citizenship is being decided. As per the accord, anyone who entered Assam on or before March 24, 1971 is deemed as an Indian citizen.