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According to The Hindustan Times, "People, whose names have not appeared in the complete list, could end up in detention centres, might get pushed back, become stateless, get long-term work permits without land and political rights".

"If the government has chose to brand us foreigners what can we do?"

India on Monday stripped four million people of citizenship in the northeastern state of Assam, under a controversial draft citizenship list that has sparked fears of deportation of largely Bengali-speaking Muslims.

Alleging vote and divisive politics by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Mamata said, "For how long will you keep lynching, play divide policy?"

In 1983, scores of people were chased down and killed by machete-armed mobs intent on hounding out Muslim immigrants. The NRC of 1951 was challenged in the Gauhati High Court, which in 1970 ruled that it was not admissible as evidence of citizenship.

The legally-binding list is being updated for the first time since 1951 to recognize Indian citizens living in Assam and identify those not legally living in the state.

The process of NRC update was taken up in Assam as per a Supreme Court order in 2013. "We can not contact people in Assam". No genuine Indian citizens who has been left out, should not worry at all.

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Suban said both he and his father were born in Assam, and showed Reuters a soiled yellow document that showed his father's name in the list of voters in Assam for 1965, before the cut-off date.

The arrival of millions of refugees to Assam in 1971 - when Bangladesh seceded from Pakistan after a bloody civil war - brought the issue of these so-called foreigners into national focus. The local border police declined to discuss individual cases, but said not all documents furnished by suspected illegal immigrants were valid.

India maintains that hundreds of thousands of people have illegally entered the country from neighbouring Bangladesh over decades and settled down in the northeast. Almost all were Muslim, and many were children. A lot of them settled in Assam.

Some residents say the demography of the state has been altered by illegal Muslim migrants and resent this. "Hence there is no need to panic", Singh said in parliament.

The CM, who is leaving for Delhi today, said she would seek time from Union home minister Rajnath Singh to discuss the issue.

Critics say the move to strip the citizenship of Bengali origin people, most of whom are Muslims, is similar to Myanmar's removal of rights and protections for its Rohingya community.

The list was uploaded on a government website, but many in remote regions of Assam, who lack internet connectivity, traveled to government booths set up for the exercise to determine their status.


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