Tathagata Roy (centre) at the military show at RCTC Ground in Kolkata on Saturday.
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By Bappaditya Paul

Kolkata: Meghalaya Governor Tathagata Roy has said that those committing suicide in Assam for being branded Bangladeshi or for non-inclusion of names in the draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) were most probably foreigners.

Roy, who was in Kolkata today attending a military show at Royal Calcutta Turf Club (RCTC) as part of Vijay Diwas celebrations by Indian Army, was interacting with newspersons on the sidelines of the event.

Asked about his views on people committing suicide in Assam for being branded Bangladeshis, the Meghalaya Governor said: “Why they are committing suicide I cannot tell. Perhaps they are rightly being branded (Bangladeshis) and they can’t take it.”

This is even as he conceded that nobody should be branded a foreigner on the basis of mere suspicion and that the process should pass through the due process of law.

Roy categorically stated that no foreigners can exert their right to stay in India for an indefinite period and that they should go back to their native land.

Asked is it possible to deport lakhs of the NRC dropouts should they stay excluded from the final list, he said that this question is not for him to answer.

“That I don’t know. This is a political question that I am not going to get into. But the point is as a general principle, it is inviolable that foreign citizens cannot stay in another country.”

The Meghalaya Governor rejected the idea that such people should be accorded refugee status en masse.

“How come they be accorded the status of refugees? For what they are seeking refuge? Refugees are those who have faced atrocities due to religious reasons. Those who cannot go back to their native country are refugees,” he said.

Roy, who had been the president of BJP Bengal unit in the past, was appointed the Governor of Tripura in 2015. Since August this year, he is the Governor of Meghalaya.

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