New Delhi, Aug 3 (IANS): Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday assured that there will be no discrimination or unnecessary harassment in the updation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and said the entire process has been fair and transparent.
Reiterating that the matter pertained to national security, he condemned alleged attempts by a "few" (persons) to create an atmosphere of fear based on rumours and propaganda on the social media and internationalise the issue.
Responding to a Short Duration Discussion on the issue in the Rajya Sabha, which saw disruptions and adjournments for a couple of days, the Minister said the Central and Assam governments are committed to adding the names of all genuine Indians in the list in a time-bound manner.
"I am reiterating that it is not the final NRC. It is just a draft NRC. Adequate opportunity will be provided to everyone for making claims and raising objections. Despite this, if anybody's name remains out of the list, he can approach the Foreigners Tribunal," Rajnath Singh said.
He also assured that there would be no coercive action against anybody in any situation.
The Minister said that the NRC updation was being carried out in a totally fair, transparent, non-discriminatory and legal manner.
"The entire process is being carried out under Supreme Court supervision. It is monitoring on a routine basis. Nobody will be harassed. There has been no discrimination, and there will be no discrimination," he said while dismissing allegations by some Opposition parties.
He said that the draft NRC had been published on July 30 in accordance with Assam Accord of 1985 when Congress leader Rajiv Gandhi was the Prime Minister. The decision to update it was taken in 2005 by the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, he added.
The Minister, a senior BJP leader, also hit out at some political parties, saying they are "trying to create an atmosphere of fear" among the people.
"It is unfortunate that some persons with vested interest are running a propaganda on the social media so that the issue can be internationalised and communal harmony affected," he said.
"It is a matter of national security... no attempts should be made to create communal disharmony... I expect cooperation from all," Rajnath Singh added.
Later, Ripun Bora of the Congress suggested in the house that the Central government convene an all-party meeting. He said that a wrong message had been sent that the Congress is against the NRC.
"With the Home Minister's statement, it is now clear that it was the Congress which initiated the NRC. Rajiv Gandhi understood the danger to Assam. To protect the people of the State, the Assam accord was signed," he said.