TDN World Desk: A federal US commission has alleged that National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam is a tool to “target religious minorities and to render Muslims stateless”.

On Friday, US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) issues a brief describing NRC “as a tool to target religious minorities and, in particular, to render Indian Muslims stateless has become one more example of the downward trend in religious freedom conditions within India.”

The commission also reflected over the concers expressed by several others domestic and international organizations ” that the NRC is atargeted mechanism to disenfranchise Assam’s Bengali Muslim community, implicitly establishing a religious requirement for citizenship and potentially rendering large
numbers of Muslims stateless. ”

Prepared by policy analyst Harrison Akins, the USCIRF alleged that following the August 2019 release of the NRC, the BJP government has taken steps that “reflect an anti-Muslim bias.”

The final updated NRC list released on August 31 excluded 1.9 million Assamese residents. The US commission also expressed their worries that if NRC is implemented nationwide, as desired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, it may further escalate discrimination as already ”members of the Bengali Muslim minority in Assam have experienced discrimination in access to and enjoyment of citizenship status on the basis of their
ethnic and religious minority status.”

The BJP has indicated its intent to create a religious test for Indian citizenship that would favour Hindus and selected religious minorities but exclude Muslims, the USCIRF said.