Survey's boycott if not as per 2011 census: Barelvi clerics. Image Source: IANS News

Bareilly, March 19 : Sunni clerics associated with an influential Islamist seminary have said that they will call for a boycott survey to be taken for National Population Register (NPR) if it is not on the lines of the 2011 Census.

The Barelvi clerics, who gathered at Dargah Aala Hazrat here, said they will appeal to the Imams of mosques to give the boycott call if the central government failed to address the concerns of the community.

Apprehending that quite a few Muslims may be declared "outsiders and infiltrators" if they were unable to furnish relevant documents to prove their Indian nationality, the clerics said that the new citizenship law was also unacceptable to the Muslims.

Salman Hasan Khan, national vice-president of Jamat Raza-e-Mustafa, an organisation affiliated to Dargah Aala Hazrat, said: "The population census should be carried out in the same way as in 2011. Muslims should not be afraid of National Population Register as the dargah will stand by them. If anyone comes to your house for the survey, talk to them politely but there is no need to share any documents with them. We will appeal to the Imams of mosques to inform the public about boycotting NPR during Friday prayers." Union Home Minister Amit Shah had told Parliament that people will not have to submit any documents to prove their citizenship under the NPR exercise.

BJP ally and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has said that the 2020 survey format had several "controversial" clauses. The Bihar Assembly has already passed a resolution to say that the NPR will be implemented according to the 2011 format only.

The country has witnessed large-scale protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and also the NPR since December 2019.

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