Mamata Banerjee says Assam NRC plan to throw out Bengalis and Biharis

Assam NRC final list released 40 lakh risk losing citizenship

Earlier in the day, the much-awaited second and final draft of Assam's National Register of Citizens (NRC) was released.

Abdul Suban, a farmer, and his wife pose for a photograph outside their home in Nellie village, in Morigaon district, in the northeastern state of Assam, India July 25, 2018.

Sailesh, who uses one name, said more than 4 million left out can file appeals by September 30 and prove their Indian nationality by providing documents.

Nearly four million people who live in the Indian border state of Assam have been excluded from a list of the country's citizens.

The part draft, published on December 31 a year ago, had the names of 1.9 crore people.

Fearing a backlash, federal and state security forces have been deployed in large numbers across Assam "to maintain law and order", in sensitive areas, Deepak Kumar, an inspector general of police, said over phone.

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Activists of All Assam Students' Union (AASU), along with 28 other organizations walk during a protest rally against India's Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016 in Gauhati, northeastern Assam state, India, last month.

Under the BJP government, which came to power in 2016, some 15,000 people were declared foreigners a year ago alone - which means more than 1,000 per month. Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said: "This is a means to divide the people of the country".

Will the NRC resolve the citizenship issue? More than 70 people died and a bunch of pleas reached the Supreme Court thereafter. "Once the draft list is out, you will see it isn't biased and you will be proud of it", Mr Sarma, who also the head Assam government's cabinet sub-committee on NRC, added. Hundreds of thousands of people fled what was then East Pakistan in the 1970s, most settling in Assam.

To be recognized as Indian citizens, all residents of Assam had to produce documents proving that they or their families lived in the country before March 24, 1971. A lot of them settled in Assam, which has a near-270 km (165-mile) border with Bangladesh. Assam Accord was signed between the Centre and state government in 1985 that promised identification and deportation of illegal immigrants.

On Wednesday, the federal home minister, Rajnath Singh, said that he had ordered the Assam government not to take any action against those whose names do not appear on the register. "Whatever is happening is under the supervision of the Supreme Court", Singh said. "However, you can not force somebody on the people of Assam and you have to ensure a balance between the two - aspirations of Indigenous people of Assam and the humanitarian consideration", Mr Sarma said in an exclusive interview with NDTV.

Assam, a state of 33 million people known for its lush tea estates, has for decades been racked by violence between indigenous tribes and settlers.

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