Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma today said absence of the National Population Register (NPR) and National Register of Citizen makes it difficult to verify as to who is an Indian citizen and who is not.
"We talked about dealing with illegal immigration of foreigners in a country having 125 crore population but irony is we are yet to even have the National Register of Citizens (NRC)," Sangma told the state Assembly today.
In his supplementary reply, the Chief Minister said that in the absence of the whole exercise it becomes difficult on how to legally verify as to "who is an Indian citizen and who is not."
Hill State Peoples Democratic Party chief Ardent M Basaiawmoit while raising a supplementary query demanded the government to come out clear on its stand in respect to the recent amendment brought by the Centre.
Alleging that whole exercise of the amendment was to pave way for Hindus persecuted outside to get rehabilitated in India, Basaiawmoit said there is a lot of protest because the population of the local indigenous will be threatened.
Prior to NRC, Sangma said we need to have NPR, which enables to have proper record of Indian nationals as it also provides us classification of different categories of the people.
"Once we have the NPR then we will know which are the category of people that constitutes the population... This is the first step which has to be completed and next comes the NRC," he added.
The Chief Minister, however, lamented that this could not be taken up because of the apprehensions expressed from different quarters adding due to this the state is not able to arrive at a collective decision in completing the NPR.
Stating there is complete clarity on the part of the state government, he said, "We are moving with utmost cautious and commitment and therefore we will need to further discuss and further engage on the approach."
Earlier in his reply to the principal question, the state Home minister HDR Lyngdoh denied that it was a fact that the Assam government has conducted the NRC enrolment in areas falling under Meghalaya.
The Home minister, however, admitted that there are some residents in Assam who have produced documents from Meghalaya, which Assam has sent to the state for authentication.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)