CJP helps another Indian citizen defend his citizenship in Assam Mohan Roy is son of Hindu refugees who were naturalized and became Indian citizens
15, Jul 2022 | CJP Team
Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) has helped yet another person defend his Indian citizenship in Assam. With CJP’s help, Mohan Roy, the son of Bangladeshi refugees who were naturalized as Indian citizens, was able to prove his case before a Foreigners’ Tribunal (FT) in Assam.
Roy was born in Modhuakali village, that falls under the jurisdiction of the Athpara Police Station of Maimansingh district of erstwhile East Pakistan, now called Bangladesh. On May 21, 1964 he entered India with his father Mahendra Kumar Roy and mother Madhabi Bala Roy, and other family members, as they were fleeing religious persecution.
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 over 50 people 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!
The family took shelter at the Balat refugee camp after entering India via the Meghalaya border. They later shifted to Khairabari village in Barpeta in Assam. In 1965, Mohan’s father Mahendra bought land in the village and in 1970, he got the registration certificate of Indian citizenship from the sub-divisional officer of Barpeta. The names of Mahendra Kumar Roy, Madhabi Bala Roy, Nipen Lal Roy, Palashi Rani Roy, Lakhi Roy are included with that of Mohan Roy. In fact, names of both of Mohan’s parents and his grandmother were included in the electoral roll of 1971 in the same village.
But this did not prevent the family from facing challenges pertaining to their citizenship. Different members of the family were served notices, first under the IMDT Act, and after it was repealed, under the Foreigners’ Act, 1946.
In June 1990, his parents and siblings were found to be Indian citizens after a case (No. 73/1990) was registered against them under IMDT Act. Another case (FT case No. 802/2006) was registered against his father under the Foreigners’ Act in 2006, but he was declared Indian in July 2009.
In 2002, Mohan himself faced a case (IM(D)T No 11/2002) under the IMDT Act. When IMDT was repealed, proceedings were initiated against him under the Foreigners’ Act in the case (PLB/160/2013Pt-1/112), and he was served notice on November 2, 2015.
Advocate Abhijeet Choudhary from CJP’s legal team contested the case before the Barpeta FT on behalf of Mohan Roy. According to Advocate Choudhary, “In Assam, many families have faced slander and harassment, for generations, when their citizenship is questioned repeatedly. This isn’t just mental torture, but also cripples families economically. Many are forced to sell property to fight cases.”
With our help, Roy submitted a written statement along with copies of:
- Relief and Rehabilitation Certificate
- Revenue payment receipt
- Registration Certificate
- Certified copies of voters list of 1971, 1989, and 1997
- Voter ID
- Certified copies of judgment in previous citizenship cases faced by his father
We also helped Mohan prove his linkage with his father. Thus, the FT concluded that Mohan Roy was Indian, and not an illegal migrant. On July 13, CJP Assam state team in-charge Nanda Ghosh, Advocate Abhijeet Chaudhary received the order copy and then he and District Volunteer Motivator (DVM) Jafor Ali, handed it over to Roy.
Though relieved and grateful, Roy conceded that the entire experience had drained him. “After what I have seen my family go through, we have become accustomed to this,” he told us. But all is far from well for the family. “My wife has been marked a D Voter. I don’t know when our troubles would end,” he said, retreating thereafter into anguish-filled silence.
A copy of the FT order declaring Roy Indian, may be read here:
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