A 92-yr-old woman – Moyna Barmani, resident of Dhubri district in Assam, who was labelled a “doubtful voter” in 2007 and received notices from the Foreigners Tribunal Court (FTC) 11 years later – in 2018, was recently declared as an Indian citizen.
Despite receiving notices, Barmani steadfastly refused to attend the proceedings, believing that doing so would jeopardise her dignity.
According to HT report, the nonagenarian lady’s name appeared in the 1951 National Register of Citizens (NRC) and in the 1966 electoral rolls.
Based on these documents, FT-8 of Dhubri district proclaimed her an Indian on January 11, 2022.
“She was asked to appear for the hearing of FT case no -8/489/GKJ/2018 in Dhubri.” – informed the report.
“When she refused to attend the trials, police informed the family that she would be declared a foreigner in a one-sided judgement if she disobeyed the court and may also be sent to a detention centre in Goalpara.” – further added the report.
Currently residing at Kedar (part-3), Moyna’s family members age is 107. Her age was 20 when she applied for NRC in 1951, so the official age is 92, according to her lawyer.
Meanwhile, the family turned to Citizens for Justice & Peace (CJP), a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) – for support, and they were able to persuade Moyna to attend the court hearing atleast once.
The Assam State Legal Services Authority (ASLSA) also extended legal support to her. The lawyer who left the case, also returned on the request of the CJP.
According to Moyna’s daughter – Dhabli Bala Barman, when the order came home last week, Moyna said, “I can breathe my last in peace now.”
“When the government itself says that the Rajbongshi community is a Khilanjia (ethnic) group of Assam, how did they serve a notice to my mother suspecting her o be a foreigner? My mother wanted to be called an Indian till the end, we are relieved now. I’d like to thank CJP team. Without them, my mother would have died as a foreigner,” she added.
The original piece may be read here.