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NRC can inflame ethnic tensions in Assam, warn UN human rights experts

There is a risk that persons not part of the NRC could become stateless, they said

AFP/PTI  |  Geneva 

People check their names on the draft list at the National Register of Citizens centre at a village in Nagaon district
People check their names on the draft list at the National Register of Citizens centre at a village in Nagaon district

Three United Nations human rights experts expressed "deep concern" Thursday over a citizens register in India's Assam, warning it could inflame ethnic tensions in an already fractious region.

A draft Register of Citizens (NRC) in the state announced in July left off four million people, leaving them potentially stateless and facing an uncertain future.

"We are... seriously concerned about the lack of clarity regarding what will happen to those left out of the finalised NRC," said a joint statement from the UN special rapporteur on religious freedoms, Ahmed Shaheed, the rapporteur for minority rights, Fernand de Varennes and an expert on arbitrary detentions, Seong-Phil Hong.

"There is a risk that persons not part of the could become stateless, be at risk of deportation, or be subject to large-scale migration detention," they said.

"It is feared that this entire process is increasing inter-ethnic tensions in a region that has already experienced a tumultuous history of identity-based conflicts," de Varennes said.

First Published: Thu, December 27 2018. 22:35 IST
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