In the drug-ravaged district of Tuensang, Chingmak Kejong and Phutoli Shikhu have not only built roads and health care centres, rehabilitated drug addicts and treated HIV-patients, but created a lasting atmosphere of hope, love and trust.
The status of 3.3 crore applicants to the Assam NRC — published on August 31, 2019 — was inaccessible due to non-renewal of IT Services Contract with Wipro, the company which looks after the online NRC data.
The “ineligible persons”, the official memo said, particularly referred to “Doubtful Voters (DV), Declared Foreigner (DF), descendants of Doubtful Voters and Declared Foreigners (DVD, DFD) and those with cases pending in Foreigners’ Tribunal (PFT)”.
Sources said there is unease in the central government over the report because the committee is learnt to have recommended a 1951 cut-off date to define “Assamese” people, and has also suggested an Inner Line Permit regime for the state.
BJP’s Alok Ghose said he was determined to make this work, with or without the government’s help. “We will raise funds and collect donations if need be,” said Ghose, who has been Chairman of the ALMDB since 2018.
Jabeda Begum submitted as many as 15 documents to back her claim of citizenship after being declared “a foreigner of post-1971 stream” by a Foreigners Tribunal in May 2019 but they were rejected by the Gauhati High Court.
As the narrative moves on to CAA and a possible nation-wide NRC, the Assam list hangs in a limbo. So does the fate of children out of it. The Centre has assured the Supreme Court, Parliament that such children, whose parents are on the list, won’t be taken to detention centres. But that hasn’t lessened their dread, of being sent away to “a place called Bangladesh”.
With Assam facing vehement opposition to the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which people believe poses a threat to their indigenous identity, the central government is now trying to pitch Clause 6 of Assam Accord as a balm to soothe the anger.
“It has been five-six months that he left for UK. I last spoke to him on January 26. And his mother had spoken to him on February 8 —according to her account, he sounded normal then,” said D Pul, his step mother, “However, we do not not know what happened.”