Former Supreme Court judge, Justice Markandey Katju, has warned that the consequences to exclude 40 lakh residents of Assam by declaring them illegal immigrants will be dangerous. Justice Katju said that the exercise may even result in ‘bloodbath.’
In a blog post on social media, Justice Katju wrote that the real intention behind the preparing a national register for citizens in Assam was to deprive Muslims of their rights to vote, which will only help the BJP.
He wrote, “The Assam immigrants problem has acquired the shape of a volcano which may erupt any time, and the recent NRC exercise has added fuel to the fire. Of course no one is going to be forcibly evicted from Assam. That was never the plan. The plan was that Muslim immigrants should not be allowed to vote, because Muslims always vote against BJP. So Muslims may remain, but remain as non citizens so that they don’t vote.”
Justice Katju felt that kicking the illegal immigrants out of Assam was not an option and lack of polution on the part of the government will result in ‘many bloodbaths.’
He said, “Those who say immigrants should be kicked out of Assam should consider firstly where will they go? Bangladesh will not accept them. Secondly, many have been living in Assam for decades, and may have even been born here. Thirdly, many may not have documents to show when they came.
“It is all very well to say that Assam is not a dumping ground, or to take a legalistic view of the matter by saying that one cannot enter a country without a visa. The fact is that these 32 million immigrants are in Assam, many living there for decades. It is like the 11 million Mexicans living illegally in USA. Despite what Trump may say, they can’t be evicted. I fear there is no solution to the immigrants problem in Assam, and emotions are so surcharged that there are going to be many blood baths, like in Nellie or of Rohingyas.”
His warnings came hours after West Bengal Chief Minister warned of civil war. “They (BJP) are trying to divide the people. The situation cannot be tolerated. There will be a civil war, bloodbath in the country,” Banerjee was quoted by NDTV.
The topic dominated the proceedings both in Lok Sabh and Rajya Sabha on Tuesday. The Upper House of the parliament was adjourned after BJP President Amit Shah said, “Rajiv Gandhi signed Assam accord in 1985, which was similar to NRC. They did not have courage to implement it, we did.”
The controversial draft National Register of Citizens in Assam on Monday had left out more than 40 lakh of 3.39 crore applicants. The draft NRC had said that 3,29,91,384 people had applied for the NRC, while applications of 2,89,83,677 were accepted.
The Supreme Court had earlier in the month extended the deadline for the publication of the draft by one month to July 30 as the earlier deadline of June 30 could not be met in the wake of the flood situation in the state.
According to the tripartite accords signed in 1985 between All Assam Students’ Union, and Assam and central governments, those who registered themselves as Indian citizens in the state on or before August 24, 1971, will be considered the Indian nationals.
Muslim groups have raised concerns alleging that the move by the BJP government in the state and at the Centre was to harass Muslim population of the state to get them out of India in a bid to change the demography of the state.