The US State Department in its Human Rights Report on India has taken note of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah’s termites’ comment.
The report says, “On September 24, 2018, Shah had called Bangladeshis who may be in Assam ‘termites’ who will be struck from the list of citizens.” It goes on to highlight that four million residents of Assam who were excluded from the draft NRC face uncertain citizenship status.
In January this year, the Supreme Court took a firm stand for the final Assam National Register of Citizens (NRC) to be published by July 31, 2019. The Assam State NRC Coordinator Prateek Hajela informed the Special Bench that 36.2 lakh people had filed their claims by December 31, 2018. Over two lakh people had objected.
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Meanwhile, there is no word for the remaining excluded from the final draft NRC published on July 30, 2018. The government sources had said those who had filed claims and objections are eligible to cast their vote for the Lok Sabha elections, provided their names are on voters’ list. The court had also made it clear that the NRC verification process should not be stopped for the elections.
In February following the Pulwama terror attack in Kashmir, Shah said the government will not allow Assam to become ‘another Kashmir’ and will ensure that the NRC will do its job. “We will not let Assam turn into Kashmir. This is our commitment; we will execute NRC again and again and pick out each and every infiltrator from Assam.”