Non-Muslim immigrants should be given citizenship: Assam Governor

Guwahati: All non-Muslim immigrants should be given Indian citizenship with voting rights while those from the Muslim religion can “slog and stay” in the country, Assam Governor Padmanabha Balakrishna Acharya today said.

“Hindus have the birth right to get Indian citizenship and voting rights here. Any non-Muslim immigrant should be given Indian citizenship,” Acharya told reporters here.

The non-Muslim immigrants from countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan and other Muslim-majority nations have come to India under compulsion and “they have lost every thing,” he said.

Asked about the Muslim migrants, specially those from Bangladesh, Acharya said, “they can slog and stay here.”

Talking about the NRC update exercise, the Governor said “It is a matter of concern that only 68 per cent of total population could enrol themselves before the deadline. It says a lot.” When asked if giving Indian citizenship to non-Muslims would violate the cut off date, which was March 25, 1971, for including name of a person in the NRC, Acharya said, “When every time we review the situation, nothing is sacrosanct.” He also appealed ULFA(I) chief Paresh Barua to abjure violence and join the mainstream for development of the state.