CJP in Action: Volunteers assist families during objection hearings Ground report on how CJP VMs help people excluded from NRC overcome challenges
10, Jun 2019 | CJP Team
CJP Community Volunteers (CVs) and the District Volunteer Motivators (DVMs) are working round the clock to help people with the Claims and Objections hearings taking place in Assam in the last leg of the process before the National Register of Citizens (NRC) is published.
The hearings began May 6 and as per the directions of the Supreme Court, the NRC should be published no later than July 31. As the hearings pick up pace, our on ground action team in Assam has pulled up its socks so as to ensure a free and a fair hearing process for every distressed family, and that there is no injustice meted out to the helpless families.
Over four million people have been left out of the NRC draft, most of them from socio-economically backward communities. Now CJP, drawing from its previous experience in providing legal aid in Gujarat, will step in with a multi-faceted team of lawyers and volunteers to ensure that these people receive a fair chance while filing claims across 18 of the worst affected districts. Your contribution can help cover the costs of a legal team, travel, documentation and technological expenses. Please donate generously here.
Here are a few instances of the commendable work done by CJP’s on ground action team in assisting our fellow citizens in Assam.
Majidul Islam, DVM of Barpeta district, came to the rescue of a poor family of Haripur village. The family’s senior most male member, Hajarat Ali (91), a blind man, and his great grandson Silim Miya (7) had received objection notice despite having all valid documents. The disposing officer (DO) was demanding for additional legacy data and when Ali failed to produce it, the DO stopped the hearing process. However, CJP’s Majidul Islam intervened and compelled the DO to continue with the hearing process on May 20. Though the DO agreed to Majidul’s request, but he gave Ali’s family one more day to provide the additional documents. This clearly reflects the manner in which the common people of Assam are being harassed by the officials.
Another such case is that of a woman named Rohima Khatun, who was marked as absent for a hearing even though she hadn’t received any notice for the same. Khatun then approached the DVM of Hojai district, Jamir Uddin Talukdar, on May 20, who immediately rushed to the circle officer along with Khatun. Jamir then explained the entire case in detail to the circle officer and convinced him to conduct the hearing process. Thus, through (CJP’s) Jamir’s help, Khatun was able to avoid the harassment which could have taken place.
CJP’s DVM, Jamir Uddin Talukdar, even came to the rescue of a family in Doboka, Hojai district, who had received three hearing notices on the same date at three different places. On May 29, Maniruddin, a family member, approached Jamir who then went to the circle office of Doboka. Jamir then convinced the circle officer and settled the matter by rescheduling the hearings on different dates.
The CJP action team in the Chirang district came to know that the DOs were passing certain discriminatory orders and unnecessarily harassing poor people. As a result, on May 22, CJP along with some other organization like AAMSU, ABBYSF, AABYSF, ABMSU, etc. approached the civil administration to complain about the same. Consequently, the hearing centre at Bijni was temporarily shut down and all the hearings were transferred to the Kajalgaon centre. Though the workload has increased, but the people have been saved from the constant discrimination. Much credit for this goes to CJP’s DVM Abul Kalam Azad.
On May 26, an unfortunate incident took place at Selusuchi village, Kamrup district, where Ashrab Ali (90) committed suicide after he was subjected to constant harassment in the claims and objection hearing process. Ali had received a hearing notice on May 23 and he was accompanied by the DVM of Kamrup district, Anish Ahmed Bhuyan, despite the centre being 100 kms away from his home. During the hearing process, the objector was absent. In such cases, the DO is mandated to pass an ex-parte order. However, Ali’s biometrics were collected, which is unjustified. Also, there was a possibility of Ali being sent to a detention centre. Depressed by this news, Ali committed suicide.
The next day, Bhuyan, attended another hearing at Goroimari Circle, Veterinary hospital campus, Kamrup district where he helped a family of D-voter (Doubtful voter). Thanks to CJP’s DVM, Anish Ahmed Bhuyan, the hearing went about smoothly.
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