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NRC: Assam publishes list of included people online

Although the final NRC list was published on August 31, it was only for those who were excluded from the final list.

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Guwahati, Sep 14 (IANS) The authorities of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) on Saturday made online the final NRC enabling all the 3.30 crore applicants to check their citizenship status.

Although the final NRC list was published on August 31, it was only for those who were excluded from the final list.

“From today, everyone who had applied for inclusion of their names can check their names online for the individual status. Anyone who has got the valid Application Receipt Number (ARN) can check the status by logging on to the NRC Assam website,” a senior official said.

It may be mentioned that the final NRC which was published on August 31 excluded 19,06,657 people.

Although the NRC coordinator had on August 31 stated that a total of 3,11,21,004 people were found eligible for inclusion in the Final NRC, the individual status of those included in the list was made available online from Saturday only.

Assam started the initiative to update the 1951 NRC first in 2013 through a multi layered verification process. These rules have been framed as per the cut-off date of March 24 (midnight), 1971, decided as per the Assam Accord.

The process of receipt of NRC Application Forms started during the end of May 2015 and ended on August 31, 2015. A total of 3,30,27,661 members had applied through 68,37,660 applications, NRC authorities said.

The particulars submitted by the applicants were taken up for scrutiny to determine eligibility of their inclusion in the NRC.

The NRC updation is a mammoth exercise involving around 52,000 Assam government officials working for a prolonged period. All decisions of inclusion and exclusion are taken by these statutory officers.

The authorities had on last year published a draft NRC wherein 2,89,83,677 people were found eligible for inclusion.

Thereafter, claims were received from 36,26,630 people against exclusions, the authorities said on Saturday, adding the verification was also carried out of persons included in Draft NRC under Clause 4(3) of the Schedule of the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003.

The Assam government has, however, made it clear that those left out of the final NRC would not be detained under any circumstances till Foreigners’ Tribunals declare the decisions.

These people can first approach the Foreigners’ Tribunals (FT) and subsequently move to higher courts if not satisfied with the FT ruling.

The state government will also make necessary arrangements to provide legal aid to those excluded from NRC by providing all assistance through the District Legal Services Authority.

India

BJP should choose between Gandhi and Savarkar: Sibal

“We embrace the history of Gandhi but we don’t know about you (Godse),” he said.

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Kapil Sibal Press Conference

New Delhi, Oct 19 : With the BJP’s Maharashtra unit proposing a Bharat Ratna for late Hindutva idealogue V D Savarkar in the 150th birth anniversary year of Mahatama Gandhi, the Congress on Saturday attacked the saffron party, saying the BJP must choose between Gandhi and Savarkar.

“We respect everyone… whoever has contributed towards the country’s protection, be it Savarkar or someone else,” said senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal, gingerly praising the Hindutva idealogue.

“But you have to decide whether you are a devotee of Mahatma Gandhi or Savarkar or both. This question will rise and you will have to respond,” he told a news conference at the AIICC headquarters.

“You do not even know about Articles 14, 15 and 16 of the Constitution — how a ruler should look after its people? You see every thing through the eyes of Savarkar,” said Sibal, without elaborating.

The Article 14 of the Constitution pertains to the Fundamental Right of equality, while articles 15 and 16 pertains to the provisions for reservations in educational institutions and the government jobs respectively for the socially and educationally backward sections of the society.

Sibal said the history was created by both Gandhi and Godse.

“We embrace the history of Gandhi but we don’t know about you (Godse),” he said.

The BJP’s Maharashtra unit on Tuesday proposed Bharat Ratna for Savrkar as part of the party’s election manifesto, evoking criticism from the opposition with the Congress asserting that if such a demand is accepted, the “God save this country”.

The CPI also attacked the ruling party, saying the day may not be far for the BJP to demand Bharat Ratna for Gandhiji’s assassin Nathuram Godse as well.

The manifesto for the October 21 Maharashtra assembly elections said the party will ask the NDA government at the Centre to confer India’s highest civilian award on Savarkar and social reformers Jyotiba Phule and Savitribai Phule.

Opposition parties launched a scathing attack over the demand for Bharat Ratna to Savarkar with the Congress saying that Savarkar, though acquitted later, had faced criminal trial in the murder of Mahatma Gandhi.

“In a country where Mahatma Gandhi is being made to commit suicide in examinations, anything is possible,” Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari had said at a press conference, referring to a row over a question in the assessment examination of some schools in Gujarat recently.

Tiwari also cited a media report that claimed the Kapur Commission, formed in 1966 to look into the conspiracy to murder Gandhi, also concluded that facts pointed towards a “conspiracy to murder (Gandhi) by Savarkar and his group”.

“If on the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, this government considers any such thing (giving Bharat Ratna to Savarkar), than all I want to say is that God save this country,” the Congress spokesperson had said.

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Banking services may be hit Oct 22 as unions warn of strike

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Bank strike

New Delhi, Oct 18 : Banking services could be affected next week as two bank unions have warned they will go on a 24-hour long strike on October 22 to protest against the recent bank mergers, falling deposit rates and a call for job security.

The two unions – the All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA) and the Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI) – have informed the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) through a notice that they will go on strike from 6 a.m. on October 22 to 6 a.m. on October 23.

State Bank of India has already said the impact would be minimum as most of its employees are not members of the participating unions.

“The membership of our bank employees in unions participating in the strike is very few, so the impact of strike on our operation will be minimal,” SBI said in the notice. It further said the loss from the proposed strike cannot be quantified as of now.

Other banks such as Bank of Maharashtra and Syndicate Bank have, however, expressed concern over providing customer services.

“The bank is taking necessary steps tor smooth functioning of branches on the proposed strike day. However in the event the strike materialises, the functioning of the branches/offices may be impacted,” Syndicate Bank said in a notice to stock exchanges.

Bank of Baroda, in a filing with the exchanges, said: “The Bank is taking necessary steps for smooth functioning of bank’s branches on the day of strike, in the event the strike materialises, the functioning of the branches may be affected/paralysed.”

AIBEA and BEFI said they are opposing outsourcing of regular and perennial nature of banking jobs, and privatisation of banking industry while demanding adequate recruitment of clerical and sub-staff and stringent steps for recovery of mounting bad loans.

Last month, the officers’ unions had called a two-day all India bank strike on September 26 and 27 that was later withdrawn on government intervention.

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Gurpreet death no deterrence to Indians with American dreams

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Mexico Border

New Delhi/Mexico City, Oct 19 : The death of six-year-old Gurpreet Kaur in the Arizona desert in June this year, shocking as it was, was also a pointer to the sharp rise in the number of Indians seeking to surreptitiously cross into the United States from the southern border. The deportation of 311 Indians from Mexico comes amid data that over 7,000 Indians are facing deportation proceedings in US courts.

Gurpreet, along with her family, had sneaked into Arizona from Mexico. While she died of hyperthermia in the hot desert, her family merged among the millions seeking to migrate to the US with dreams of a better life.

For the National Migration Institute (INM) of Mexico, the deportation of the 311 Indians, comprising 310 men and one woman, was the first case of flying back such a huge number of illegal migrants.

In a statement, the INM said: “There is no precedent in the history of the INM – neither in the form, nor in the number of people – of a transatlantic air conduction, such as that carried out on this day,” said the Mexican agency that is under the Ministry of Interior.

The Indians had entered Mexico irregularly and were found on different dates in eight different parts of the country.

The Indians had been detained in Veracruz, Oaxaca, Chiapas, Tabasco, Sonora, Durango, Baja California and Mexico City before being transferred to the migrants’ centre in Acayucan, Veracruz, for identification and transfer to Toluca.

The INM was constantly in touch with the Indian embassy in Mexico to confirm their Indian citizenship, after which they were put on a Boeing 747 charter flight from Toluca to New Delhi on Wednesday. They were accompanied by migration agents and national guards.

“This was carried out thanks to the excellent communication and coordination with the Embassy of that Asian country, with which the recognition and return of these citizens was worked under strict adherence to the Migration Law,” added the Mexican agency.

The Ministry of External Affairs declined to comment on the issue. However, a source said that India does not support illegal immigration anywhere in the world. But in cases where the rights of documented Indian migrants are affected, including in the US, the Indian government takes up their case.

The deportation of the 311 Indians came after the Mexican government deployed thousands of National Guard troops at the border with Guatemala in June following pressure from US President Donald Trump, who threatened to levy tariffs on Mexican goods if Mexico did not slow the flow of drugs and migrants to the US.

According to the INM, nearly 4,800 Asian migrants – of whom 2,823 were from India – were referred to the Mexican immigration agency during the first eight months of this year.

Mexican authorities have reported cases of Indians being picked up as they walked along roads of eastern Mexico or were being transported by traffickers in cargo vehicles, along with central Americans.

The Mexican police recently arrested two leaders of a traffickers’ organization that got Indian migrants to Mexico through the airport in Cancun, Quintana Roo (southeast), and then pushed them into the US by bus.

According to figures, in 2019, over 7,000 Indians were involved in deportation proceedings in courts across the US. India figured among the top 10 nations whose citizens were undergoing asylum hearings in the US, after Guatemala, Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, Cuba and Venezuela.

The death of Gurupreet Kaur and now the deportation of the 311 Indians has brought the focus on Indians seeking to cross into the US border without documentation.

According to the Washington-headquartered Migration Policy Institute, between 2010 and 2014, there were 2,67,000 undocumented Asian Indian immigrants in the US.

US Border Control figures show a massive jump in the number of Indians seeking to slip in illegally into the US. In 2008, there were 77 Indian nationals seeking asylum in the US, which jumped to 3,000 in 2017, and tripled to 8,997 in 2018.

While Indians made up just one per cent of the total illegal migrants apprehended in 2018, the sharp rise in numbers has been striking.

Between 2007 and 2018, the number of Indians apprehended rose from 188 to 9,234 – an increase of more than 4,811 percent, according to CQ Roll Call’s analysis of Customs and Border Protection data. The greatest jump was along the southern border, where Indian apprehensions in the same time period increased from 76 to 8,997.

The number of migrants from Asian countries entering Mexico to go to the US has grown since 2016, and especially since April last year, according INM data.

According to a North American Punjabi Association report of last November, 2,400 Indians were languishing in US jails for illegally crossing the border.

According to NAPA figures of October last year, 377 Indians were detained at California’s Adelanto Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Processing Center, 269 at Imperial Regional Adult Detention Facility, 245 at the Federal Correctional Institution Victorville, and 115 at Washington State’s Tacoma ICE Processing Center.

Most of the Indians who seek to migrate illegally are from Punjab, as was also the case of the 311 Indians.

The traffickers reportedly lure young Punjabis to migrate to the US illegally and charge between Rs 35-50 lakh per individual.

Almost 6,00,000 migrants arrived at the southern US border from Mexico till June this year, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

Mexico deployed 6,000 National Guard troops on its southern border in June as part of measures to reduce migration in the wake of its agreement with the US, which had threatened to ley a 5 per cent tariff on Mexican exports to the US.

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