Updated: September 3, 2019 7:15:33 am
Abdus Subhan, a former Grade IV employee in the state education department in Mohimari village of Assam’s Kamrup district, died on August 17, a fortnight before his family was left divided by the final National Register of Citizens (NRC) published on Saturday.
Subhan’s eldest son Zubair Hussain (28), a data entry operator at an NRC Seva Kendra in the neighbouring Majortop village, found on Saturday that his name and that of his brother Ariful (25) and sister Yesmin (22) were out of NRC. But their elder siblings Fazail (35) and Salma (30) were in, and so were there parents.
“Our grandfather’s name is in the 1951 NRC. We don’t know why the exclusion happened. If my parents and elder siblings are Indians, how can I be a foreigner?,” says Zubair.
Over 100 km away, Ahmed Toweb (28), a resident of Jogighopa in Bongaigaon district, is the only member of his family to be excluded. His parents and five other siblings are in. Toweb is a secretary of the state committee of NSUI, the Congress’s students’ wing.
“My grandfather is in the 1951 NRC. We have land documents dating back to 1944 and 1962. My entire family is in but I am out. Now what? I have to go to the Foreigners’ Tribunal. And, you know their reputation,” says Toweb.
“The reason for exclusions which have left families divided could be mere negligence of ground officials, technical problems or personal agenda of officials,” he adds.
In Tezpur town of Sonitpur district, Parimal Bhattacharjee (77) is worried over the exclusion of his wife Rina Bhattacharjee (71). Rina is a retired teacher while Parimal was a college lecturer.
Parimal says Rina did her schooling in West Bengal and returned to Assam to pursue higher education. She then took up a job here, he says, adding that she had submitted a 1967 certificate from a school in Nagaon she started teaching at and her BEd certificate from 1969.
“Everyone in my family is in, except my wife. It seems the process was aimed at excluding the maximum number of people. I have no faith in this process anymore,” says Parimal.
In Bengali-majority Barak valley, Jaba Namashudro (35), a resident of Udharbond in Cachar district, is out whereas her three children and husband are in. What makes her case noteworthy is that she won a case at a Foreigners’ Tribunal in 2017 and was declared an Indian. According to rules, a person whose case is pending at a tribunal cannot be included in NRC.
“We had submitted the tribunal order but probably it was not updated into the system. TV channels are saying we have to go to a tribunal. Does she need to go to the tribunal again?” asks Surendra, her husband.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.