CJP Assists 67-year-old Assam woman who had surrendered herself to fate Samiran Bibi was served a D voter notice, but for a long time, she was unable to do anything until CJP’s Team Assam entered the scene.

07, Jun 2023 | CJP Team

CJP’s humanitarian work in Assam has been an arduous yet rewarding process. In the midst of the hustle and bustle of weekly visits to people, old and new, affected by the citizenship crisis, CJP’s Team Assam is often left struck with the stories of the grinding plight of people who struggle to hope. It is a short glance at some of these stories, brought to you by the trailblazing CJP’s Team Assam, that we bring you some heartrending stories. 

Spread out across fourteen districts, CJP’s team in Assam is rigorously active each week, assisting people affected by the citizenship crisis, facing trials in Foreigners’ Tribunals, checking up on former detainees, assisting them in the process of rehabilitation – as well as checking up on people who have been recently served suspected foreigner notice or have been marked a D (doubtful) voter in the electoral list and thus stand face a trial in Assam’s infamous Foreigners’ Tribunals. CJP’s team members are grounded and well-informed, they are attentive to the concerns of people around them. 

They regularly hold conference with the Block Level Officers to hold discussions on how to improve the situation. This regular interaction also helps keeps them updated if there is a case which might require the help of CJP.  The team often has to travel to remote areas, sometimes areas with no roads, no bridges, and often flood destroyed regions, to reach out and assist affected people.

In one such case from January 2023, CJP’s Assam Team members, District Voluntary Motivator (DVM) Jafar Ali and Community Volunteer Mahibul Haque visited the home of Samiran Bibi. She was astonished and dazed at seeing the team. Samiran Bibi has been marked as a D–voter on the voter list for a long period of time. Samiran Bibi is a 67-year-old widow from the Barpeta district of Assam. She is a permanent resident of Radhakuchi village. 

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The tragedy unfolded itself as Samiran Bibi narrated to CJP’s team Assam that she had done nothing about the D- voter status as her entire family was unlettered; they had no money or information to challenge Samiran Bibi’s disenfranchisement.  Thus, when CJP stepped in, she was in a state of denial and shock at the thought of anyone reaching out to her and swiftly demanded who they were and what the team wanted.

CJP’s team has been consistently providing counselling for people who are grappling with despondency, despair and helplessness, along with familiar, personal, and document-related concerns that arise on the field, as they assist people. The team has also conducted paralegal training workshops with people. In Samiran Bibi’s case as well CJP’s team counselled and told her about CJP’s extensive humanitarian work in Assam and how the team could assist Samiran Bibi in the process.

Samiran Bibi there onwards confided that CJP was the only one to reach out to her. She and her family were left helpless to their fate if CJP had not arrived. CJP’s team assured her they would be with her throughout the process, which left Samiran Bibi calm, at ease, and grateful. While the process is ongoing with no immediate end date in sight, the fact there is sustained assistance has given this victim of the citizenship crisis, some hope. We will come back with a conclusion to this hapless tale as soon as we have helped resolve the issue of her disenfranchisement.


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