04, Aug 2023 | CJP Team
In another of CJP’s weekly visits, the team came across an old, frail woman suspected of being a foreigner born in Cooch Behar district of West Bengal. Now living in Ramtaikutir in Dubhri district of Assam, Basu Bewa, a 97-year-old victim of the citizenship crisis, who has endured a year of fear and isolation after receiving a Suspected Foreigner Notice. Her case was being handled by an advocate who had previously fought for justice in Moyna Barman’s case. Moyna Barman had recently passed away. However Barman, despite being in her 90s, had gotten herself proven an Indian despite all odds with the help of CJP.
But for Basu Bewa a lack of communication from the advocate in recent months left her and her family in distress and in despair, and very uncertain about their future.
Every day of each week, a formidable team of community volunteers, district volunteer motivators and lawyers—CJP’s Team Assam – is providing ready at hand paralegal guidance, counselling and actual legal aid to hundreds of individuals and families paralysed by the citizenship-driven humanitarian crisis in the state. Our boots on the ground approach has ensured that 12,00,000 persons filled their forms to enlist in the NRC (2017-2019) and over the past one year alone we have helped release 52 persons from Assam’s dreaded detention camps. Our intrepid team provides paralegal assistance to, on an average of 72-96 families each month. Our district-level, legal team works on 25 Foreigner Tribunal cases month on month. This ground level data ensures informed interventions by CJP in our Constitutional Courts, the Guwahati High Court and the Supreme Court. Such work is possible because of you, individuals all over India, who believe in this work. Our maxim, Equal Rights for All. #HelpCJPHelpAssam. Donate NOW!
In addition, Basu Bewa’s encounter with unknown authorities had left her traumatised. She dreaded that they might come to take her away to a detention centre, a fear that ran so deep she could no longer sleep or eat properly. The mere presence of strangers sent her trembling as she recalled the day she received the dreaded notice. It seemed like hope was slipping away from her and her family who were already living with very less means and now faced an uncertain future. Her son Abdul was in tears while narrating his mother’s circumstances.
After CJP’s team members in Assam learned about Basu Bewa’s tragic circumstances and decided to step in to offer support. Habibul Bepari, the District Voluntary Motivator (DVM) from CJP, reached out to the distraught family and assured them that they were not alone in this battle. CJP promised to communicate with the advocate handling Basu Bewa’s case and provide every possible assistance to help her.
CJP’s involvement and strong assurance brought a glimmer of hope to Basu Bewa and her family. They felt a sense of relief knowing that help was near. CJP’s visit instilled confidence in them that justice could be something that is attainable for Basu Bewa too.
With a long history of humanitarian work with people affected by the citizenship crisis, CJP’s work and dedication speaks volumes about their dedication to upholding justice and compassion. Beyond the legal battles fought in courtrooms, the team retains the heart and compassion to understand the human suffering that comes with such cases. They understand that the citizenship crisis affects a person in many ways and is not just limited to one single bureaucratic hurdle faced in court. Thereby, the team is notably equipped to assist victims with several issues, and also is constantly in touch with who are or have been in the past affected by the crisis. In the scorching heat, where uncertainty loomed over the lives of many, Basu Bewa’s story stands out as a testament to the resilience of the human spirit retrieving hope as it was almost extinguished.