It’s because of you, I’m back with my family: Nasimuddin CJP helps release one more person from an Assam detention centre

28, Mar 2022 | CJP Team

CJP has helped one more person walk out of a detention centre in Assam. Nasimuddin had been languishing behind bars for two years, before CJP helped him secure bail and finally come back home on March 24, 2022.

47-year-old Nasimuddin is a resident of Khuti village which comes under the jurisdiction of the Dalgaon Police Station in Darrang district of Assam. He is unlettered and was a daily wage labourer providing for his family comprising a wife and four children; three daughters and a son.

His life went into a downward spiral when he found a D before his name on the voter list; the most dreaded letter of the English alphabet that means that the Election Commission considers him a “doubtful” voter. He felt crushed, but being the sole breadwinner, he never shared anything with his family Moreover, he had no capacity to defend his citizenship before a Foreigners’ Tribunal (FT).

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!

Eventually, he got an FT notice to prove his citizenship on February, 13, 2018. This notice left the family sleepless! But Nasimuddin appeared before the FT thinking that he might get respite as his forefathers were all born in Assam and even laid to rest here in death. His hopes were pinned on the fact that he had a piece of paper which stated that his father’s name was in the 1951 National Register of Citizens (NRC). But alas! The FT judgment was not in Nasimuddin’s favour, and he was declared as “Foreigner” in his own country!

Suddenly everything seemed meaningless to him, as Nasimuddin descended further into despair, his helplessness adding to his anguish. He was taken to the Tezpur Detention Centre two years ago in connection FT case no-2210/16 SPE No. 6274/98, Darrang FT no -5.

Meanwhile, his wife had no idea to feed their family and continue their education. Luckily, she got some help from her brother-in-law, and the children were not forced to drop out of school. She also took up odd jobs and worked as a domestic help to put food on the table. But her ordeal had an impact on her mental health, the trauma that was visible to the CJP when we first met her.

CJP steps in

CJP’s Darrang District Volunteer Motivator (DVM) Joynal Abedin met her and the wider team including CJP Assam state team in-charge Nanda Ghosh stayed in touch with the family ever since we first came to know about the case. The first task was to find a bailor with the required documents. But collating, verifying and having the bailor’s documents proved to be an uphill task. The CJP team including Advocate Siddik Ali and many others, moved from pillar to post, often visiting the same office more than once to complete the procedure. But our team persevered, for we could not let this hapless family down. And our perseverance paid, Nasimuddin was finally released on March 24, 2022.

After we completed all formalities and finally got him released from the Tezpur Detention Centre, stopped for a quick cup of tea. That’s when our team noticed how Nasimuddin was having an extremely emotional response to this experience. He finally gained composure and told us, “After a hard day’s work, I used to come here every evening to have a cup of tea.” Turns out, his place of birth was nearby and having tea at this place brought him comfort. For the rest of the journey too, Nasimuddin was wide-eyed as he took in all the changes that had taken place in his absence.

When he reached his village, his neighbours gathered around him to welcome him. But his wife was too overwhelmed to speak for a very long time. Finally, she managed to string together a few words and said, “I’m seeing him after such a long time, he seemed to have changed so much.” She recounted, “I tried to meet him several times when he was in detention centre. But they never allowed me to meet him. I cooked for him, I folded my hand and requested them to give the food but nobody listen to me.” Due to Covid pandemic no outsider, or any item was allowed in the detention centre. Additionally, there had been a previous rule against cooked food being given by families to inmates. This, however, had caused her even more emotional trauma, “I travelled during the Lockdown just to see him once, but I wasn’t lucky. But now I feel lucky for you to have found and helped us.” She told our team, “It is because of you brother, that today my husband is with me and with my children.”

Nasimuddin couldn’t take his eyes off of his children and kept hugging them, his eyes were filled with tears. He thanked CJP saying, “It is because of you that I’m with my family today. I’ll pray that Almighty give you more strength.”

Some images of his emotional reunion with his family and as well as a copy of his bail order may be viewed here:

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