India to crack down on illegal immigration in northern part of the country, muslims fear deportation.
Four million residents of the Northeastern state of Assam fear to be detained or deported if they are unable to prove they have lived in the country for over 47 years.
The Indian government wants to rid the country of the large number of illegal immigrants who have migrated to Assam from the predominantly islamic country of Bangladesh, over the past few decades.
Since 2015 inhabitants of Assam could register themselves in the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
Now that the list has been published on Monday, it appears that of the nearly 33 million people who have given up their information, four million have not been included in the official register. Those who are not included are at risk of losing their citizenship if they are unable to prove that they have been living in Assam since March 24 1971, says the NOS.
The specified date is the day Bangladesh, formerly known as East-Pakistan, proclaimed its independence.
During the short, but bloody, war of independence that followed, hundreds of thousands of muslims fled the country to the nearby Indian state of Assam. People who have illegally crossed the Indian border after March 1971 are considered illegal immigrants by the national government.
Although the NOS reports that illegal immigrants who adhere to hinduism – as opposed to the muslims – will be granted Indian citizenship, regardless of how long they have resided in Assam. The government also said that nobody will be transferred to the border immediately.
Bangladesh has already stated that it will not allow the migrants into its borders.
While hindus make up 80% of the population of India, 14% identifies as islamic.
Tensions between these two religious groups are frequent, and violent clashes are far from exceptional.