26, Oct 2022 | CJP Team
In yet another victory for Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP), the Gauhati High Court has granted bail to Nur Islam, who was declared foreigner by a Foreigners’ Tribunal (FT) in Kamrup Metro, Assam. He has now been granted interim protection from getting detained or being sent to any of Assam’s Detention Camps.
Nur Islam @ Nur Islam Mondal is a 52 year old daily wager from Baniyamari village, which falls under the ambit of the Golokganj police jurisdiction in the Dhubri district of Assam. His life changed when he received a suspected foreigners notice from Kamrup Metro Foreigners Tribunal via Golokganj police station on March 11, 2020. He has, since then, been detained in a Transit Camp. However, with the help of Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP)’s para-legal and legal team in Assam, he has been saved from facing permanent detention in the state’s detention camp.
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 Gauhati 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!
Nur Islam, son of Dildar Ali Mondal, has been a permanent resident of the Baniyamari Village since his birth. Even his father and forefathers were permanent residents of the same village, which presently falls under the Dhubri district of Assam. Earlier, back then ,the village was located in the Goalpara district.
Nur Islam had been born and brought up in the village. However, in the year 2000, he was forced to move out from his village due to economic deprivation and move to Gauhati in search of livelihood opportunities. To support his family, he started working as a rickshaw puller. Due to his financial conditions, Nur Islam was not able to attain a proper school education.
He strove to ensure food in the belly of his children and his efforts brought a smile to their faces. The burden of staying far away from home, toiling long hours to support them, seemed trivial. Years later, he was able to return home, now able to earn a living by working as a daily wager.
Everything was going smoothly until the month of March of the year 2020, when his life was shattered after receiving a suspected foreigners notice from Kamrup Metro Foreigners Tribunal via Golokganj police station. Since Gauhati was more than 235 km away from his village and it was over a decade since he had left the city, he was clueless about the legal procedure. He was compelled to hire an advocate to appear for him in the Foreigner Tribunal in Gauhati. He was able to procure and produce all the documents in the Foreigner’s Tribunal to support his citizenship, but the tribunal declared him a foreigner based on the opinion that Nur Islam had only “projected Dildar” Ali@Dildar Ali Mondal as his father.
That is when Team CJP stepped in. When the Dhubri district volunteer motivator (DVM), Habibul Bepari was first informed about the case of Nur Islam close to two years later, in the month of January, 2022, Habibul Bepari visited Nur Islam’s house on the behalf of CJP and examined all his documents. He then consulted with Nanda Ghosh, CJP’s state in-charge, and discussed the said case. Immediately after this, Mr. Ghosh discussed the issue with a senior legal team member of CJP.
CJP then stepped in to aid Nur Islam in this fight for his citizenship and ensure justice for him. The first step in this fight was to help him secure a bail from the Gauhati High Court in order to ensure that the police will not be able to further detain him to Transit Camp.
After the CJP Team re-checked, and verified all the documents, it was clear that Nur Islam has all the required documents to proof his citizenship. The CJP found that Nur Islam’s grandfather, namely Abed Ali Sheikh @Abed Ali Mondal, was a resident of the same Baniyamari village and his name was clearly visible on the 1951 NRC. This document had been issued by Golokganj Police Station. Additionally, his grandfather also had land documents, i.e final khatian No: 57 on 05.12.1961, by the same name, which were issued by the Assam Revenue Department. In the 1966 voter list too, his grandfather’s name was enrolled under the 34 No Gauripur LAC.
The CJP team also found that his father was listed in the 1951 NRC and had all the documents and voter list till the year 2010. His father hadpassed away in the year 2012. However, another issue arose when a little discrepancy could be found in the representation of his father’s name. From 1951 to 1989,his father’s name had been recorded as Dildar Hossain, while post 1989 and till now, the name has been recorded as Dildar Ali Mondal. This miss-matching of surname (title) is very common in Assam. All these issues had been mentioned by Nur Islam in his written statement before the Kamrup Metro Foreigners Tribunal No-2, where he had fighting for his claim to be Indian by birth.
Despite all these documents that were presented as evidence, a IM(D)T/PS Case No- 688/2000 was framed against him. Later, a Reference Case No- 914/2018 also was framed against Nur Islam, which pushed the uneducated and destitute Nur Islam to appear before the tribunal.
According to Nur Islam, this process against him started when he was being questioned by a police at Paltanbazar, Gauhati in the year 2000. He was stopped by the police while he was on his way to work; the official asked him questions regarding his identity and address. While talking to Nanda Ghosh, Nur Islam recounted the experience and said that “I answered all the questions put forth by him but still, they didn’t spare me.”
Post this, the documentation process started for Nur Islam. CJP then obtained the entire Foreigner Tribunal case record & judgment copy from the Kamrup Metro Foreigners Tribunal. Thereafter the CJP legal team thoroughly examined each and every page of the copies thus procured. After a detailed study of the case, CJP legal team called Nur Islam for some paperwork. CJP arranged complete transportation and accommodation for Nur Islam so that he did not have to face further financial burden.
While the legal process started at Gauhati High Court, Nur Islam and his family were anxious and nervous. Understanding their situation, the CJP Team was constantly counseling them and assuring them that we will stand with them every step of the way. Finally, on October 21, 2022, Advocate Mrinmoy Dutta, senior legal member of the CJP legal team, was able to secure his bail from the Gauhati High Court.
When Nur Islam first heard that he got bail from High Court and therefore the police could no more detain him, much of his anxiety dissolved, he could breathe freely. He felt at peace. His words at that moment were, “Now at least I can go out freely and work to feed the family, pay the fees of my children, it’s you (CJP) made it possible for me.” He also expressed his hopefulness and trust, and added, “I believe you, now you will also give me back my identity”.
As the next step, the CJP team, headed by Nanda Ghosh, will complete all the official formalities at the Kamrup metro Border Police office, in time, as directed in the order of the Gauhati High Court. While Nur Islam obtaining bail is a huge relief for the helpless family, the real fight is defending and securing his Indian citizenship. CJP stands with Nur Islam and all such genuine Indian citizens, every step of the arduous way. CJP will ensure that Nur Islam is able to reclaim his citizenship.
The order of the court can be read here: