India: 4 million excluded from Assam’s draft list of citizens


About 4 million people who live in the Indian border state of Assam have been excluded from a draft list of citizens, as Bengali-speaking Muslims fear they will be sent to detention centres or deported.

The state government has put stringent security in place while the chief minister, Sarbananda Sonowal, has told Indian media that those finding themselves stateless overnight should not worry. Sonowal said they would be given a chance to prove their claim of citizenship, that none of the 4 million would be sent to a detention camp, and that “no one will be treated as a foreigner”. Sonowal told the Hindustan Times that “ample opportunity will be given to applicants to prove their eligibility”.

Hundreds of thousands of people fled to India during Bangladesh’s war of independence from Pakistan in the early 1970s. Most of them settled in Assam, which has a near-165-mile (270km) border with Bangladesh.(theguardian)…[+]