More than 4 million people were excluded from a draft list of citizens released on Monday by a census official for India’s northeastern border state of Assam, in a long-running campaign against immigrants, sparking uncertainty about their future.
Resource-rich Assam, which borders Muslim-majority Bangladesh, is in the grip of social and communal tension as residents campaign against illegal immigrants, a fight backed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist-led government.
Of more than 32 million people who submitted documents to prove their citizenship, the names of 4,007,707 were missing, Sailesh, India’s registrar general and census commissioner, told a televised news briefing in Assam’s main city of Guwahati.
“On completion of verification of all applicants, the complete draft is being published,” the government said in a statement.
Officials said security had been tightened across the state as thousands of Bengali-speaking Muslims worry about being sent to detention centers or deported.