India has vowed to launch a country-wide exercise to identify foreigners illegally residing in the country, but before that will adopt a law to accord Indian citizenship to all Hindu, Sikh, Jain and Buddhist refugees.
The government recently concluded a similar exercise, known as the National Register of Citizens, in the northeastern state of Assam, where two million people were declared foreigners.
“I assure all refugees, Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist and Christian, that the Government of India would not ask any one of them to leave the country,” Home Minister Amit Shah told a seminar in Kolkata, the state capital of West Bengal on Tuesday.
His comments come amid raising protests from different segments of society against the NRC, which aims to target “illegal Bengalis”.
“We will first get the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill passed and then we will go for the NRC,” Shah was quoted by the Telegraph India on Wednesday as saying at the event.—.Anadolu Agency