ASSAM

Widespread suspicion about who is and isn't a citizen, heightened by the exclusion of over 19 lakh people from the National Register of Citizens 2019, is fueling a humanitarian crisis in Assam.

Res Judicata principle applicable to FT decisions: Gauhati HC

In a landmark judgment, the Gauhati High Court has ruled that the principle of Res Judicata applies to orders passed by Foreigners’ Tribunals (FT). Simply put, this means that if an FT finds a person to be an Indian citizen, the same person cannot be tried again or be declared foreigner. Readers would recall that…Read More

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Dalit widow spared life behind bars due to CJP’s intervention

Life had already dealt Champa Das a tough hand. Not only was she a Dalit woman, she had been living in penury after the death of her husband and son. But things got even worse when she was served notice to appear before a Foreigners’ Tribunal in Assam and defend her Indian citizenship. But she…Read More

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Stories from Assam

In Assam, being declared a foreigner or excluded from the list of citizens arbitrarily, has meant a civil death for 2.2 million people, with repercussions often engulfing entire families. Since 2017, CJP’s Assam Team has worked in faraway villages and districts to provide real paralegal and legal aid as well as psychological assistance. To feel the depth of the despair and plight of these millions of fellow Indians, we need to have a face, a name, a sketch that tells each individual's unique story. Travel with us in this journey through the pictorial and textual sketches of these people who live under constant threat and trepidation, clutching their documents even as nature’s floods often sweep them away.

Citizenship in Assam:
A game of chance, of snakes and ladders


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NRC

National Register of Citizens (NRC) is a list containing names of Indian citizens of Assam. The NRC was first prepared in 1951, after the Census of 1951. The NRC update of 2014-2016 across Assam includes the names of those persons (or their descendants) who appear in the NRC 1951, or in any of the Electoral Rolls up to the midnight of 24 March 1971 or in any one of the other admissible documents issued up to the midnight of 24 March 1971, which would prove their presence in Assam on or before 24 March 1971.

The NRC (1951) and the Electoral Rolls up to the midnight of 24 March 1971 together are collectively called Legacy data. It is being done with the compliance with section 3 and 6A of Citizenship Act of 1955; the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003 (amended in year 2009); Modalities and Standard Operating Procedure and Judgement Order of Supreme Court. Entire process is being monitored by Supreme Court.

Supreme Court in its order dated 25/10/2013 held the presence of D-Voters in the state doubtful and mentioned that these voters could be included only if the NRC is updated or the Foreigner's Tribunal declare them to be Indian Citizens.



Citizenship in Assam

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CJP Reaches Out

CJP reaches out to the people of Assam who are negotiating a labyrinth of citizenship related issues. After the publication of the NRC over 500 CJP volunteers spread over 19 districts are going from village to village conducting workshops to spread awareness about how to go about defending their citizenship in Foreigners' Tribunals. CJP is also training paralegals to help people during these hearings before Foreigners' Tribunals.

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Assam Map

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CJP’s Assam Legal Aid Petition: ASLSA indicates shortage of funds for providing legal aid to those excluded from NRC

The Assam State Legal Services Authority (ASLSA) has indicated in its affidavit that it is in need of financial resources to provide legal aid to the large chunk of the state’s population (over 19 lakh persons) who have been left out of the National Register of Citizens (NRC). This affidavit was submitted in connection with…

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सीजेपी ने की असम पुलिस से थानों में सीसीटीवी कैमरे लगाने की जोरदार मांग

पुलिस द्वारा चलाई जानेवाली गतिविधियों और अभियानों में और भी ज़्यादा पारदर्शिता को सुनिश्चित करने के लिए सिटिज़न्स फॉर जस्टिस एंड पीस (सीजेपी) ने वकीलों, किसानों और श्रमिकों के विभिन्न संगठनों के साथ मिलकर असम पुलिस के पास एक मेमोरेंडम पेश किया जिसमे यह मांग की गई कि प्रदेश के सभी पुलिस थानों में सीसीटीवी…

CJP strengthens commitment to our fellow Indians in Assam in 2021

In 2021, CJP achieved some important milestones in our programme to defend the rights of our fellow Indians in Assam. Not the least of these was helping as many as 16 more people secure bail and get released from various detention centres across the state. This takes the tally, since we began such crucial interventions…

Assam police firing: State responds to victim family’s plea, says acted in self defence

Sheikh Farid, a resident of Kirakara village of the Dhalpur region, would not have lost his life at the tender age of 12 had the police handled the situation professionally and with due diligence and care. In October, CJP helped Farid’s family file a petition before the Gauhati High Court seeking compensation from the state for the unlawful…

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Detention Camps

Detention Camps are places where the Assamese who are Declared Foreigners are kept till they are deported. Currently 951 DFs are lodged in 6 detention centers operating out of makeshift facilities in local jails in Goalpara, Kokrajhar, Dhibrugarh, Tezpur, Silchar and Jorhat. These detainees do not possess the same rights as the convicted/charged inmates and aren’t allowed to parole, family visits, and working for a wage. Meanwhile, the government has sanctioned over Rs 40 crores to set up a Detention Camp at Dhakurbhita in Goalpara.

असम डिटेन्शन कैम्प से एक और क़ैदी हुआ आज़ाद

१५ नवम्बर को सीजेपी ने चिरांग के मोजिबोर शेख़ को डिटेन्शन कैम्प से रिहा करवाया। वह दो साल से अपने परिवार से दूर, जेल में क़ैद थे। CJP द्वारा रिहा करवाए गए, मोजिबोर ४९ क़ैदी हैं। असम का साथ दें: https://cjp.org.in/donateforassam/ Related: Victory! Mojibor Sheikh released from Assam Detention Centre with CJP’s help Have somehow…Read More

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Assam Detention Camp: The 51st inmate walks out with CJP’s help

CJP has helped one more person walk out of the detention camp in Assam. Watch how Nasimuddin had been languishing behind bars for two years, before CJP helped him secure bail and finally come back home. To support our work in Assam, visit here Related: CJP helps two brothers get released from Assam Detention Centre…

It’s because of you, I’m back with my family: Nasimuddin

CJP has helped one more person walk out of a detention centre in Assam. Nasimuddin had been languishing behind bars for two years, before CJP helped him secure bail and finally come back home on March 24, 2022. 47-year-old Nasimuddin is a resident of Khuti village which comes under the jurisdiction of the Dalgaon Police…

CJP strengthens commitment to our fellow Indians in Assam in 2021

In 2021, CJP achieved some important milestones in our programme to defend the rights of our fellow Indians in Assam. Not the least of these was helping as many as 16 more people secure bail and get released from various detention centres across the state. This takes the tally, since we began such crucial interventions…

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NRC

National Register of Citizens (NRC) is a list containing names of Indian citizens of Assam. The NRC was first prepared in 1951, after the Census of 1951 to maintain a record of citizens. The Assam Agitation held between 1979- 1985 demanded the expulsion of 'foreigners' from Assam. This led to the updating of the NRC. 3.2 crore people submitted over 68 lakh documents and just over 19 lakh people were left out of the final NRC published on August 31, 2019.

Keep a track of the NRC numbers

33027661
+ Number of Applicants
31121004
+ In the NRC
1906657
+ Citizenship in question

EXCLUSIVE: India’s former President’s kin left out of NRC in Assam

Members of India’s fifth President FA Ahmed have been left out of the National Register of Citizens (NRC). Now questions are being raised about the insensate practices followed by the NRC authorities during the update process that failed to consider natural calamities like floods that affect Legacy...Read More

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CJP’s Assam Legal Aid Petition: Gauhati HC asks Centre and State to indicate stand on funding

In a shot in the arm for the Legal Aid machinery in the State of Assam, the Gauhati High Court has asked the Centre as well as the Assam State Government to indicate their stand on provision of funds. This was in connection with a petition filed by Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) seeking…

CJP Assam stands firm in its fight against citizenship crisis

CJP has been relentlessly reaching out and helping every Indian Citizen fighting the Citizenship Crisis in Assam. From freeing those wrongly jailed in Inhumane Detention Camps of Assam to those falsely accused of being a ‘Foreigner’, we are providing paralegal and legal aid to every single person, who is tormented by the system. CJP will…

Assam: CJP’s fight against citizenship crisis stronger than ever

CJP Assam continues its fight against the citizenship crisis, stronger and braver than ever. We are going door to door in remote areas of Assam, collecting documents of citizenship and being there beside those who need our assistance. We have been fighting relentlessly for every Indian battling the citizenship crisis in Assam, in courts and…

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Foreigner Tribunals

Foreigners Tribunals are the quasi- judicial bodies responsible for hearing cases with respect to foreigners/non-citizens/D-voters under the Foreigners Act, 1946. There are three ways in which people end up before a Foreigners' Tribunal; the Election Commission marks them Doubtful Voter (D-Voter), the Border Police designates them Suspected Foreigner and refers them to a Foreigners' Tribunal, and now after being excluded from the NRC people are required to defend their Indian citizenship before a Foreigners' Tribunal.

Assam man forced to prove Indian citizenship four times!

Even as Assam gets ready for a draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) that will be released on July 30, 2018, many people, whose cases are still pending before Foreigners’ Tribunals or the Gauhati High Court, will have to wait to have their names cleared before they can be added in the NRC. But as we discovered....Read More

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Res Judicata principle applicable to FT decisions: Gauhati HC

In a landmark judgment, the Gauhati High Court has ruled that the principle of Res Judicata applies to orders passed by Foreigners’ Tribunals (FT). Simply put, this means that if an FT finds a person to be an Indian citizen, the same person cannot be tried again or be declared foreigner. Readers would recall that…

Dalit widow spared life behind bars due to CJP’s intervention

Life had already dealt Champa Das a tough hand. Not only was she a Dalit woman, she had been living in penury after the death of her husband and son. But things got even worse when she was served notice to appear before a Foreigners’ Tribunal in Assam and defend her Indian citizenship. But she…

CJP’s Assam Legal Aid Petition: Gauhati HC grants Assam and UoI final chance to file affidavits

On March 24, 2022, the Gauhati HC granted four weeks’ time to the State of Assam and the Union of India (UoI) as a final opportunity to file their respective affidavits in connection with the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) which raises concerns over the quality of legal…

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CJP's Toll Free Number

Until recently, CJP operated a toll free number in four different languages; Assamese, Bengali, English and Hindi, to counsel people across Assam. We received over 12000 calls from distressed people. After publication of the final NRC, the number has been discontinued.

1800 1020 138

Archive: District-wise Exclusion Data

CJP had accessed exclusive district-wise data of people left out of final draft NRC published on July 30, 2018

Declared Foreigner

A Declared Foreigner is a person who has failed to prove his citizenship before a Foreigners’ Tribunal. Names of suspected foreigners and D Voters are referred to FTs who then conduct a trial where the proceedee is required to not only produce documents to prove their citizenship, but also prove the authenticity of the documents. If they fail, the FT designates them Declared Foreigner (DF).

I’m not a smart man, but I know what prison is: Anjaan Musafir

In this edition of our series on how the idea of Indian citizenship is being made and unmade in Assam as the National Register of Citizens is being updated, we bring you the story of Anjaan Musafir*. He is a man who could be India’s answer to DB Cooper, given how he has successfully evaded authorities by...Read More

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Gauhati HC extends interim protection to Gulbhanu Begum

In yet another victory for Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP), the Gauhati High Court has issued notice in connection with our petition on behalf of Gulbhanu Begum who was declared foreigner by a Foreigners’ Tribunal (FT) in Bongaigaon, Assam. She has now been granted interim protection. Gubhanu Begum is a resident of Patkata Pt-II…

Guwahati HC grants bail to Assam woman declared foreigner

CJP has helped a hapless Assam woman declared foreigner secure bail from the Guwahati High Court. The woman named Chenbhanu Begum had been declared foreigner in an ex parte judgment by an Assam Foreigners’ Tribunal in 2019. Chenbhanu Begum, wife of Madan Ali, is a daily wage labourer and resident of Fuhuratali village that falls…

CJP helps Assam man secure bail from Guwahati HC

CJP has come to the aid of Uttam Chakraborty, a Bengali Hindu man who was forced to defend his citizenship before a Foreigners’ Tribunal twice! While he was declared Indian the first time, he was shockingly found to be a ‘foreigner’ a second time. But CJP provided him legal aid and helped him secure bail…

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History

The genesis of the NRC is linked to the movement against ‘illegal immigrants’ , ostensibly from Bangladesh. This movement has in turn sparked off violence against these ‘illegal immigrants’. But what is the history of borders between Assam and Bangladesh ? What is the source of this disconent? Watch our maps to see how ‘Assam’ changed over the years.

Assam in Historical Maps

Assam was ruled by various dynasties during the medieval period - the Pala, Koch, Kachari, and Chutiya. The Ahom kingdom established in the 13th century at the upper Assam plain gradually took control over the entire region. Although there was continuous warfare, the kingdom ruled for over 600 years until the 19th century.

The present day Bangladesh and Assam were part of the British India till 1947. Until the idea of border came in, people have moved across this region freely. The British promoted the migration from the Bengal region to Assam for labour in the tea gardens and later for cultivation in the Brahmaputra valley.

  • Bengal Presidency (1826):Assam was included as a part of the Bengal Presidency

  • Chief Commissioner's Province (1874): Assam was separated from Bengal Presidency to for a new province. The Sylhet region of East Bengal is added to the Assam region.

  • Chief Commissioner's Province (1905): Bengal was partitioned and the East Bengal region was added to the existing Chief Commissioner's Province.

  • Chief Commissioner's Province (1911): Facing the backlash, the British revoke the the Bengal partition. Sylhet remains with Assam

  • Assam (1947): Assam post Independence. Sylhet joins Bangladesh. Present day Arunachal Pradesh is added to Assam in 1937

D Voter

D voters are people whose position as voters is doubtful owing to lack of their ability to produce proper citizenship credentials. The Election Commission started classifying citizens as D voter in 1997. The Border Police would refer suspected foreigners to Foreigners’ Tribunals following which there would be a trial where they would be required to prove that they are genuine citizens. So far 2,44,144 people had been marked as D Voters till December 31, 2017. 1,31,034 cases had been disposed off and 1,13,110 cases were still pending.

ASSAM ARCHIVE ON CITIZENSHIP

भला एक 8 साल का बच्चा ‘संदिग्ध वोटर’ कैसे हो सकता है ?

Tमोनुवर हुसैन, एक 8 साल का मेधावी छात्र है जो अभी दूसरी कक्षा में है और पढ़ना-लिखना, गिनती करना, यहाँ तक की सरल जोड़ना घटाना भी जानता है. मगर ऐसा प्रतीत हो रहा है कि असम का राज्य तंत्र मोनुवर को ‘विभाजन’ सिखाने में तुला हुआ है. जुलाई 2018 में मोनुवर का नाम डी-वोटर यानी ‘संदिग्ध वोटरों’ की सूची में पाया गया! जबकि अगले दस साल तक...Read More

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Lakhi: Luckless in Assam

Lakshmi is considered the goddess of wealth and good luck in India. An eastern Indian variant of this name is Lakhi. Often little girls are given this name to bless them with both these things. But wealth and luck have forever eluded Lakhi who grew up in a Guwahati orphanage, and is not saddled with…

Beauty and the bumbling Beast of Bureaucracy

Moyna Barman, a Koch Rajbongshi woman in her 90s, was once the village belle. So much so that people started calling her Devi meaning goddess or angel in light of her divine looks, and that’s how her name got distorted in official records. Now the unlettered woman, who belongs to a community that is seen among the…

Empowering Assam in 2020

The year 2020 has been challenging for people across the world due to the Coronavirus pandemic. But for those in Assam, it was particularly excruciating in light of the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests, the Covid-19 related lockdown, the floods and the ongoing crisis related to the National Register of Citizens (NRC). Amidst all this…

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Judiciary on Assam

The Supreme Court is monitoring the NRC update process through the Registrar General of India. Over a period of time, the SC and Gauhati High Court have issued many orders on the NRC and citizenship issues. We present here a primer on how the judiciary has looked at the issue of citizenship and NRCs

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Res Judicata principle applicable to FT decisions: Gauhati HC

In a landmark judgment, the Gauhati High Court has ruled that the principle of Res Judicata applies to orders passed by Foreigners’ Tribunals (FT). Simply put, this means that if an FT finds a person to be an Indian citizen, the same person cannot be tried again or be declared foreigner. Readers would recall that…

CJP’s Assam Legal Aid Petition: Gauhati HC grants Assam and UoI final chance to file affidavits

On March 24, 2022, the Gauhati HC granted four weeks’ time to the State of Assam and the Union of India (UoI) as a final opportunity to file their respective affidavits in connection with the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) which raises concerns over the quality of legal…

CJP’s Assam Legal Aid Petition: ASLSA indicates shortage of funds for providing legal aid to those excluded from NRC

The Assam State Legal Services Authority (ASLSA) has indicated in its affidavit that it is in need of financial resources to provide legal aid to the large chunk of the state’s population (over 19 lakh persons) who have been left out of the National Register of Citizens (NRC). This affidavit was submitted in connection with…

Read On

Documents & Judgments

Browse through all NRC related documents here