Updated: June 27, 2019 7:20:27 am
Halim Sikdar (26) found out on Wednesday morning that he was out of the draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC), although he did feature in it when it was published on July 30 last year. The reason for his fresh exclusion, as mentioned in the Additional Draft Exclusion List published on Wednesday, is “Descendant of D Voter”.
D-Voter — or Doubtful Voter — is a category introduced in the electoral rolls of Assam in 1997 to supposedly mark people unable to prove their citizenship during verification.
What puzzled Sikdar, though, was that his father, Samad Sikdar, was indeed suspected to be an illegal Bangladeshi and there was a case against him. But he won that case and was declared an Indian in February 2017 by Foreigners Tribunal (FT) No 7 of Assam’s Barpeta district.
“Surely it has not been updated into the system that my father has already been declared as an Indian by an FT. We will appeal against this exclusion in the upcoming Claims round,” says Sikdar over phone from their village, Guma, in Lower Assam’s Barpeta district.
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Explained | Assam NRC additional draft exclusion list
Over 1 lakh people who were part of the final draft of the NRC published last year were named in the Additional Draft Exclusion List published on Wednesday. They were found ineligible due to one of the following reasons: persons who were found to be DF (Declared Foreigner) or DV (Doubtful Voter) or PFT (persons with cases Pending at Foreigners Tribunals) or their descendants, as applicable, discovered after publication of draft NRC, persons who were found to be ineligible while appearing as witness in hearings held for disposal of claims and objections, persons who were found to be ineligible during the process of verification carried out by the Local Registrars of Citizens Registration (LRCRs) after publication of draft NRC.
Not all among the excluded are as certain as Sikdar regarding the reason for exclusion but are determined to file claim against it.
Moinal Hoque (27), from Baksa district who works in a private bank’s Barpeta Road branch, and one of his elder brothers, Abdul Jaleel, were in the Exclusion list. The family — comprising 13 children from his father Abdus Sattar’s two marriages — had applied for inclusion in NRC through the ‘legacy’ of Sattar’s name being in 1951 NRC. Hoque said the family had appeared as witnesses for a hearing when they filed a claim for their brother Shahidul Islam’s inclusion — discrepancies emerging then could have led to the exclusion, but Hoque is not sure.
“I am no expert on technicalities of NRC updation and do not know what exactly could have caused the exclusion. But when the claim process for this list begins, we will file appeals,” he said. Hoque did not visit his NRC Seva Kendra (NSK) to find out the reason of exclusion on Wednesday.
The list available online does not show the reason for exclusion.
Wednesday’s list also includes a large number of children and women. In Kamrup district, farmer Nazrul Hoque’s two daughters — Firoja (8) and Asmina (11) —and his brother Jiarul Hoque’s son, Jubaier Jaman (8), appeared on the exclusion list. A family friend who went to the respective NSKs to check the exclusion said that in the list the reason was mentioned that the “legacy person” provided by these children is “not their grandfather”. But Nazrul and Jiarul, who were in the final draft, did not get excluded.
Jiarul said, “We will have to consult those in the village who know about this process and how to file claim. How can my children be foreigners?”
In a remote corner of the border district of Dhurbi, Panphul Khatun (35) does not know why her name has been excluded today. A source in the block-level administration if the area said that probably her name has been identified as a PFT — someone who has a case pending in a FT for being a suspected illegal foreigner. But Khatun and her family say they have no idea as to which case this is.
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