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    No entry for foreign journalists, Assam gets protected zone tag after NRC

    Published on September 4, 2019

    By Bhupen Goswami

    Guwahati : No entry for foreign journalists, Assam gets protected zone tag after NRC. The Ministry of Home Affairs of the Government of India said that Assam has now been categorized as a protected area by the Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Home Affairs after a dispute generated by the National Civil Register (NRC). All foreign journalists working in Assam have been asked to leave the state. A female reporter from the wire agency Associated Press (AP) was recently escorted by the Assam Police to the airport and put on the next available flight to Delhi, sources at the Foreign Correspondent Club of South Asia told this newspaper. Sources said, “Assam government officials politely asked to leave the state and seek necessary permission from the Indian government.” Until now the foreign media had been barred from entering Jammu and Kashmir and some hilly states of the Northeast only on reporting assignments. Sources in the home ministry said that Assam has now been added to the protected area list along with other northeastern states.

    When foreign ministry contact sources said that foreign journalists would now have to seek permission from the Ministry of External Affairs and would be subject to final approval by the Ministry of Home Affairs, then it would have to go further. The development comes in the wake of the publication of the last NRC in Assam and extensive news reports in foreign media, which were mostly important for NRC practice. MEA spokesman Ravish Kumar on Tuesday clarified that NRC was not an executive-driven process, but a practice that was mandated and monitored by the Supreme Court.

    “Some comments have been made in a section of the foreign media about aspects of the final NRC which are incorrect,” he said. Meanwhile, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) chief Filippo Grandi has expressed concern over the publication of the NRC in Assam, which could leave some 1.9 million people at risk of being stateless. He said in a statement in Geneva, “I appeal to India to ensure that this action does not waste anyone, including ensuring adequate access to the highest standards of information, legal aid, and legal process.” Is included. ” Although the nationality status of about 1.9 million people left out of the NRC is not known, many have warned the UNHCR of not having another nationality. Grady warned in his response on Sunday, “Any process that could leave large numbers of people without nationality would be a huge blow to global efforts to eradicate legalism.” The UNHCR has also urged the government to take action on similar procedures occurring in other Indian states and urged authorities not to deport those whose nationality was not verified. The United Nations agency reiterated its proposal to help the Government of India determine the nationality of the people and curb legalism in accordance with its mandate and international standards.

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