17, Feb 2023 | CJP team
A resident of Assam who was “suspected of being a foreigner” by a Foreigners’ Tribunal (FT) in Goalpara District, Assam, has now been declared an Indian citizen!
Life has never been too kind to Ramila. She has two children. Her husband has gotten remarried and has seven children with his second wife. Since the death of her husband, which had happened a long time ago, Ramila has worked as a daily wager to support and provide for her family.
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 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!
To make matters worse, she received a notice from a Foreigner’s Tribunal (FT). Ramila was concerned after receiving the FT notice, but, the CJP came to her rescue and offered her legal counsel. Advocate Ashim Mubarak of the CJP legal team handled this case before the FT.
Ramila’ parents, Late Kofur Ali @ Fokir Ali Sheikh and Late Kosiron Bibi, were from the Jotsorobdi village in Goalpara district, now under the Krishnai police station in Assam, India.Her parents and grandparents were both born and raised in the same village, which meant that her parents and grandparents were all Indian citizens by birth. She also belongs to the Goriya community, which has been designated by the Assam government’s cabinet as an indigenous Muslim community.
To prove her citizenship, the CJP legal team presented to the Tribunal land deeds from 1965 and 1996, which were registered in the names of her father and uncle. Furthermore, it was established that the names of Ramila’s parents appear in the voter list, beginning from the 1966, and after the death of her father, the name of her mother appears in the voter list from 1989 onwards.
Ramila married Jhanuddin Sheikh of village milannagar Santipur, Borpahar, Goalpara district, on September 9, 1990, after her father passed away. Her name was then added to the voter lists for the years 1997, 2005, 2017, 2021, and 2022, along with her husband’s. She also presented a linkage certificate issued on June 19, 2015 before the tribunal.
The accusation leveled against victim Ramila Begum is that she had illegally entered India. The CJP legal team has held the said allegation to be completely false and without any foundation. The Team has provided to the Tribunal that the investigation officer had neithervisited her house,nor requested any documents that proved her citizenship or nationality. The investigation officer did not conduct a fair investigation of the claims levied against her, and had falsely submitted a case against Ramilawithout carrying out a proper inquiry or investigation.
Thus, after eight months of hard work by the CJP team, Ramila has finally been declared an Indian citizen by the FT. She was happy and relieved when the CJP Team came to her house and handed her a copy of her judgment. “May Allah bless you,” she told the team. She further said that “I was always praying dua for you during namaz.”
The full judgment copy can be read here.