Guwahati: Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the definition of religious minorities should be changed and it should be counted district-wise. He made this remark in continuation to the debate around demography in Assam that is going on for the last few days. Himanta Biswa Sarma had said that Hindus are hopelessly a minority in many districts of Assam and NRC should be re-implemented in the state.
Himanta Biswa Sarma said on 30th March 2022, that the Assam government will try being party to the ongoing case in the Supreme Court based on a PIL filed by BJP Delhi leader Ashwini Upadhyay. The PIL seeks directions for framing guidelines which can identify minorities at state level.
He also said, “There are several confusions. A person who has received an ST scholarship is also getting minority, OBC scholarships. Now such issues are being discussed in Supreme Court. Expecting (SC) to specify minority definition soon, so that we get to know who they are.”
Earlier on Monday, 28th March 2022, Assam’s chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that Hindus are hopelessly in low numbers across several Assamese districts, and they should be declared a minority. He also reiterated the observations he mentioned in the state assembly saying that the Muslim community is in majority in the state and cannot be deemed a minority in the state anymore. As Hindus have remained less than even 5,000 in some districts, Himanta Biswa Sarma said that Hindus can be declared a minority.
As per last census of 2011, Assam’s minority Muslim population is little over 33%. However, in nine districts of the state, Muslims are in majority and Hindus are in minority like Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains. The Centre has recently submitted before the Supreme Court that the states can consider granting Hindus ‘minority’ status if the community is not in a majority within their jurisdiction.
AIUDF MLA and the general secretary of the party Aminul Islam said on 29th March 2022 that AIUDF will definitely move to Supreme Court if the Assam government files any petition seeking the re-verification of the NRC. The NRC list was published in August 2019. 19.06 lakh people out of 3.3 crore applicants were left out of the list.