Mumbai: The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) demanded a count of “illegal” Bangladeshis residing in the city, who “cause a stress on the resources of Mumbai”. The Raj Thackeray-led party made this demand a day after the names of over four million people in Assam were excluded from the draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) list in that state, prepared following a long-drawn out process to identify illegal Bangladeshis living there.
“It has now been proved that over 40 lakh people are illegal infiltrators. Raj Thackeray has been speaking on this issue for years, now,” MNS leader Bala Nandgaonkar said in a statement.
“There are people from across the country who settle in Mumbai. This includes Bangladeshi infiltrators, who have settled here illegally. These people not only cause a stress on the resources of the city but also pose a grave danger to security,” Nandgaonkar stated. He further said a campaign similar to that under way in Assam should be conducted in Mumbai as well. Nandgaonkar demanded the government form an action committee that should be empowered to expel people living illegally in the state. “This committee should also be tasked with ensuring that the Bangladeshis do not return,” Nandgaonkar said.
The publication of the draft NRC list has become the latest bone of contention between the ruling and Opposition parties. The issue rocked Parliament as well. Separately, a number of political parties protested outside Parliament, accusing the BJP of trying to divide society and making Indian citizens become refugees in their own country.
While West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee warned that the exclusion of four million people from the NRC in Assam could lead to “bloodbath” and a “civil war” in the country, BJP chief Amit Shah sought to project the NRC in Assam as a national security issue and concerned with the rights of Indians. He also asked all opposition parities to clarify whether they suppported the NRC or not.