The Government of Assam, a northeast Indian state, published a list of official citizens on Monday that excluded 4 million people, heightening fears of unrest and violence. The list, called the National Register of Citizens, left off those who could not prove they came to Assam before March 24, 1971, when Bangladesh (previously West Pakistan) declared independence and millions fled, with over 900,000 settling in Assam.
Why it matters: The list has renewed panic among residents, mainly Bengali Muslims, who have neither the desire nor the ability to return to Bangladesh. The register has already stripped many of the right to vote, own property or access any other social services, and six detention camps now house more than 800 people who have been declared non-residents. It is unclear what will happen to these “illegals” who are now essentially stateless, much like the Rohingya who fled Myanmar and live in camps in Bangladesh.