As the deadline of publication of National Register of Citizen nears, president of the All India Mahila Congress and former MP from Assam Sushmita Dev said here on Wednesday that Union Home Minister Amit Shah should not make “irresponsible statements” on the National Register of Citizens (NRC). The deadline of publication of the NRC is August 31.

Addressing a press conference, Dev said the people of Assam are peace-loving, and there won’t be any disturbance or violence in the state after the publication of NRC. “But I want to tell Amit Shah that he had, in Parliament, said that 40 lakh people who are out of the (draft) NRC are intruders and there is a need to expel them,” she said. “Such kind of statements are irresponsible….they create anxiety among people. Amit Shah should have restraint,” she said.

She also said that about 30 to 40 per cent of the 40 lakh people who did not find place in the draft NRC would be included in the final NRC, as it was minor spelling or clerical errors which had led to their exclusion.

On Tuesday United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (UNSCIRF), an independent, bipartisan panel set up by the American government, in a press release said, “NRC could be used to disenfranchise Muslims in the region and is part of the government’s ongoing efforts to introduce a “religious test” specifically aimed at clearing out Muslims.”

UNSCIRF Chair Tony Perkins said, “we remain concerned with the potential abuse of the National Register of Citizens in Assam and the resulting introduction of a religious requirement for citizenship, which are contrary to the ideals of religious freedom in India.”

The UNSCIRF Commissioner Anurima Bhargava also issued a statement saying, “We remain troubled by any government policies or actions that have the effect, whether intentional or not, of undermining religious freedom for vulnerable religious minorities. The National Register of Citizens verification process must not become a means to target and render stateless the Muslim community in northeastern India. Proposed policies that suggest that Muslims – and Muslims alone – will face a higher burden for verification, along with worrisome rhetoric, create a negative and potentially dangerous climate for the Muslim community in northeastern India.”

The Ministry of Home Affairs is also planning to implement National Citizenship Register throughout the country. The ministry issued a notification on July 31, 2019 where it mentioned that the Central government has decided to prepare and update the population register in the rest of India other than the state of Assam.