The extended family of Iman Ali (62) is almost completely excluded from the final NRC published on Saturday. Fifty-two members of his joint family used the legacy of his father Joranuddin Sheikh, and on Saturday only seven of them found themselves in the NRC.
“Around 10.30 am, I went to a store in the village market which has a laptop, to check my status on the NRC website. I found that we had been excluded,” Ali said.
“Over the last two years, I have been one of the most active local campaigners for the NRC, urging people to apply and helping them with hearings and filing documents.”
Ali, a farmer and former president of the Hatishala local market committee, said the problem was in his father’s name.
“He was actually Joyanuddin Sheikh. But in the 1966 voters’ list that we submitted for NRC, it is spelt as Joranuddin Sheikh. We were all included earlier —- only four of the 52 of us were excluded from the draft NRC,” he said.
“But then there was an ‘objection’ filed against me, my two cousins and one uncle,” pointed out Mizanur Rehman, Ali’s eldest son, a tractor driver.
“We went for the hearing regarding the objection. The objector did not come and we don’t personally know the person who filed it. During the hearing we were asked the reason for the difference between ‘Joyanuddin’ and ‘Joranuddin’ in the documents. We realised the problem and said we have a land document of 1964 which mentions our grandfather’s name as ‘Joyanuddin’, the actual name. But they disallowed that,” Rehman said.
Objections were filed against 2 lakh people out of the 2.89 crore included in the final draft. The objections process had drawn criticism as multiple reports surfaced that a vast majority of objectors did not turn up for hearings.
Ali continued, “Look at the discrepancy in the process. One of my sons, Asiruddin, and two of his sons have been included. But two of Asiruddin’s daughters are excluded. There are so many children in the 45 excluded members of our family. Will we drag everyone to a Foreigners’ Tribunal (FT)? Will they put us in detention camps?”
The government’s multiple statements that none excluded will be treated as a foreigner, until and unless declared so by an FT, had not reached the pensive Ali.
Rehman said, “I will sell land, but prove in the FT that we are all Indians. We are genuine citizens — you have excluded us for a difference in name in decades-old documents. We will not accept this.”
An NRC official in the know of the case told The Sunday Express that the family was not allowed to submit the 1964 land document showing ‘Joyanuddin’ because putting that in place of initial documents of ‘Joranuddin’ would technically mean replacing the ‘legacy person’ — a step disallowed in the Supreme Court-approved standard operating procedure for the Claims and Objections process.
The names of more than 19 lakh people are not in the updated final NRC, which validates bon afide Indian citizens of Assam.
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