09, Nov 2019 | Gayatri Korgaonkar
CJP’s Team Assam received information that a large chunk of people in the village of Borbari—where the Nellie Massacre took place in 1983—have been excluded from the final NRC list; about 150 persons have been declared Indian in this village, but most of them (about 90%) of their names have not been included in the final NRC.
CJP’s Assam State Co-ordinator, Zamser Ali along with the CJP team went to visit the village and take stock of the situation. Here is what he had to say:
I’m in the village Borbari, at the Post Office Beltola, Dharamtul Police Station, Morigaon District. I am standing here along with my co-volunteers of CJP, Paulomi Baruah, Nandu Ghosh, Faruk Ahmed, Aftar Ali, and some other friendly volunteers. The village Borbari is famous as the region where, in 1983, more than 1800 people were killed by ultra-chauvinist forces during the Assam Movement. I am at the mass grave site where 585 Muslims were buried.
In 1983, the massacre claimed more minors and women, all of whom died at this same spot. Still, after 36 years, it is a poor village, with a mixed population, where 1330 persons live (Census of India, 2011). Among them, 606 are female, 727 are male, 237 are minors. Its literacy rate is much lesser than the national and Assam average at 66.24%. The total Scheduled Caste population here is 585 persons. Total number of households is 252.
What is astonishing that the people here had to first live through the Nellie Massacre of 1983. Now, at Barguri village (the larger part of Nellie), where a ghastly genocide took place in a single day—where the targeted population was all found to be Indian– they today face renewed discrimination.
Now that the final NRC has been published, and 19,06,657 people have been excluded from the final list, CJP’s objective is to help these excluded people defend their citizenship before Foreigners’ Tribunals. For this we have already started conducting a series of workshops to train paralegals to assist people at FTs. We will also be publishing a multi-media training manual containing simplified aspects of legal procedure, evidentiary rules, and judicial precedents that will ensure the appeals filed against the NRC exclusions in the FTs are comprehensive and sound, both in fact and in law. This will assist our paralegals, lawyers and the wider community in Assam to negotiate this tortuous process. For this we need your continued support. Please donate now to help us help Assam.
At present, all families who live here, cutting across religious lines, have at least one or two persons who are D-Voters or facing Foreigner Tribunal cases. About 150 persons have been declared Indian in this village, but most of them (about 90%) of their names have not been included in the final NRC.
As many as 30-40% of Nellie’s population are facing ‘repeat cases’ before Assam’s infamous Foreigners Tribunals. It is an overwhelming situation. Specifically, there are women who have been declared Indian in IMDT Case No. 695/2004 (Date of Order: 9/7/2014). In this case, those women were declared Indian but due to a case of mistaken identity, several women were detained or declared to be foreigner. One of these women has been in a detention camp for the last three years!
For the family of Ali Hussein, the tragedy is endless: Foreigner Tribunal cases were pursued against his brothers Rahul Amin and Noor Nobi, and his wife Halina Khatoon—all three were declared Indian but subsequently were all out of the final NRC list. This is an instance of blatant discrimination: not one or two cases, but each and every family who have ties with the black history of Nellie, Borbari are facing FT discrimination.”
Podcast of Zamser Ali may be heard here.
(The text has been edited lightly)