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 NRC 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.