Mumbai/Guwahati: More than 03.30 lakh people from all across the world have signed a petition launched by Avaaz - a campaigning community bringing people-powered politics to decision-making worldwide, against publication of National Register of Citizens (NRC) being prepared in Assam.
The petition titled "India: Stop deleting Muslims!" was started on July 12, 2018 and has so far received more than 3.30 lakh signatures from all across the world.
"In a few days, India will delete as many as 7 million Muslims in Assam State from its master list of “citizens” because they speak the wrong language and worship the wrong God. Husbands, wives, and children could be torn apart and left to rot in prison camps", the petition says in the opening remarks.
"This is how genocides begin - how the nightmare of the Rohingya began. But it’s all unfolding quietly -- if we raise a massive alarm calling for the UN Secretary-General and key governments to intervene - we can stop this horror before it starts", the petition says.
Addressing the UN Secretary General and the international community the petition went on to add, "We urge you to issue an early warning about the publication of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam State in India -- which will lead to mass violence, ethnic cleansing, and the transfer of minority Muslims to prison camps for life", the petition says.
"As global citizens we ask that the UN and other concerned governments work with India and Bangladesh to ensure there is scrutiny over the NRC process, that it complies with human rights standards, and that no one is left stateless", the petition says.
Commenting on the Avaaz petition, NRC State Co-ordinator Prateek Hajela refuted the allegations made in the petition initiated by Avaaz.
"The contents of the petition are absolutely incorrect and misleading. Some vested interests are trying to create disturbances by spreading such wild rumours as in this item of ‘Avaaz’. There is no question of genocide", Prateek Hajela said.
Meanwhile, the Assam Congress has alleged that the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) is interfering with the works of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) authority.
"We have come to know that of late the NRC authority is facing problems in working as per the guidelines of the Supreme Court or its own. We believe the BJP is interfering with the works of the NRC update to reap political gain out of it," said Ripun Bora, President of Assam Pradesh Congress Committee, while talking to the media in Guwahati.
"The Supreme Court had upheld the documents issued by panchayat secretaries as link documents for NRC update. But during verification, the employees of the NRC Seva Kendras (NSK) have refused to accept them on various pretexts to deprive a large number of people from entering their names in the NRC," he said.
The 1951 NRC is being updated in Assam under the supervision of the Supreme Court to weed out foreigners. Its first draft was published on December 31 last year and the complete draft will be published on July 30, 2018.
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