Nearly two million people in northeastern state Assam of India are expected to lose their citizenship today after the state of Assam released a list of citizens aiming to evict foreign elements.
A total of 31.1 million people are included in the National Citizenship Registry (NRC) list, while another 1.9 million are considered ineligible, according to a statement from the Assamese government.
Most of those excluded are Muslims.
Assam, a secluded and isolated state with 33 million people has long witnessed the influx of foreigners since British colonial rule and around Bangladesh’s independence war in 1971 when millions of people fled to India.
In recent decades, Assam has been a field of conflict between religion and ethnic tension.
Among the worst tragedies was the 1983 massacre that killed about 2,000 people, most were Muslims.
Only those who can prove that they or their ancestors have been in India since before 1971, will be included in the list.
However, it is considered a challenge to the people of the region who are mostly illiterate and may have trouble obtaining the necessary documentation.
Individuals whose appeals are rejected will be declared as foreigners and will be deprived of their citizenship and rights as Indians, and sent to temporary detention camps, in addition to being deported.
The step was taken by the central government of Narendra Modi to reduce the majority of Muslims in the state of Assam.