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India Supreme Court demands a tally of citizens in Assam

India’s Supreme Court has ordered a citizenship tally in Assam after concerns were raised that thousands of illegal muslim immigrants from Bangladesh had produced false documents for citizenship.

This order follows years of ethnic tensions and campaigns against Bangladesh immigrants who natives claim are stealing resources and taking their land. Prime Minister Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharat Janata Party has further contributed to this tension by vowing to expel illegal immigrants and labelling them termites in this years election campaign which saw him gain a large mandate.

The courts demand that to be recognised as an Indian citizen, all residents of Assam must produce documentation that shows they or their families lived in the country before March 24, 1971. 1971 marks Bangladesh war of independence which was supported by India. During this period hundreds of thousands of people fled Bangladesh.

A final register is due on July 31 however Modi’s government has told the court that authorities will need to review the drafted list of citizens due to concerns that many have given false information. A government lawyer Tushar Mehta stated:

“There is a growing perception that ... illegal migrants have been included in the list in collusion with local officials,”

Mehta further stated: 

“India cannot be the refugee capital of the world,”

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