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Those howling over draft NRC should read definition of refugee


Press Trust of India Kolkata
Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy today said those "howling" over the complete draft of the NRC in Assam should read the definition of 'refugees' by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
In a series of tweets this morning, he also said that Muslims entering India are not refugees as they have not faced any persecution in their home countries.
Roy's remarks came in the wake of a statement by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Expressing concern over the exclusion of over 40 lakh people in the National Register of Citizens (NRC) draft, Banerjee had yesterday said those "Indian citizens have become refugees in their own land".
However, the Tripura governor said people entering another country in search of employment or economic opportunities are "infiltrators".
"Those who are howling about the exclusion of people from the final draft of Assam NRC are advised to read the definition of the word 'refugee' given by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Any old person crossing from his country to another is NOT a refugee," he tweeted.
"Only those who flee their countries because of genuine fear of persecution because of religion, ethnicity, political belief etc are refugees. People entering another country in search of employment or economic opportunities are NOT refugees. They are INFILTRATORS (sic)," Roy, the former president of BJP's West Bengal unit, said.
He said according to the UNHCR definition, "which for some reason is still not formally accepted by the government of India", Hindus, Sikhs, Christians and Buddhists fleeing Bangladesh and Pakistan are refugees.
"Muslims entering India ARE NOT REFUGEES, because they faced no persecution in their home countries," Roy said on Twitter.
The much-anticipated NRC complete draft was published in Assam yesterday with over 2.89 crore names out of 3.29 crore applicants.
Yesterday at a press meet, Banerjee had stated that it was "very unfortunate" that those living in Assam for five generations have become refugees under the BJP government.
"They are Indians, but they have become refugees in their own land," she added.

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First Published: Jul 31 2018 | 5:20 PM IST

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