Legit voter served “FT notice”, money extorted, CJP steps in: Dhubri, Assam Early April saw the dreaded FT notice arriving at Bhaleno Bibi’s door, with the delivery man demanding cash for service!

29, Apr 2023 | CJP team

In the first week of April 2023, Bhaleno Bibi’s husband suddenly received a notice from Assam’s dreaded Foreigner’s Tribunal at Dhubri!  The notice was issued in the name of his wife Bhaleno Bibi’s! Alarm bells rang for the family, Bhaleno Bibi’s husband was aghast that despite having been an active voter in elections, he was served notice for being a suspected immigrant. What added to the family’s horror and despair is when the person who brought the notice, dressed in civilian clothes, openly asked them for money. The man, as he stood at their door, notice in hand, warned them that ‘they’ generally take more than 3,000 in some cases, and the family had to pay him at least 1,000 rupees in exchange for simply receiving the notice. Panicked and out of helplessness, Bhaleno Bibi was compelled to give the man 500 rupees. 

This is where the CJP Team came in. When CJP’s team members reached their house in Moisha village, Agomani, Dhubri distrct, they found out that the notice was delivered to them just a few days before they learned of it! Our Team members promptly started making enquiries from the victim family:  inquiries about their advocate, legal help, financial condition. Not only did CJP’s team members counsel the family not to give in to such extortionist demands in the future, but they also asked them to call CJP’s team members in case such incident happens again. CJP’s team member from Dhubri district Habibul Bepari said, “We reached to the family and extended help in every way possible.” “They have enough documents to proof themselves however they were not spared,” he added.

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!

Bhaleno Bibi and her husband subsist on small farming and have suffered from the ills of riverbank soil erosion as well in the past. In a state where the soil of the land, as well as their status as belonging to the land, is questioned and puts them in perpetual jeopardy – Bhaleno Bibi and her husband were left staggered by the suspected foreigner notice. Thus due to the fast-approaching date of the FT combined with the delayed arrival of the notice that left them no room to adequately prepare, they were compelled to urgently find themselves a lawyer who demanded fees from them, causing them further damage. Fortunately for the family, when CJP’s team members arrived, they reached out to the lawyer as well, describing the circumstances until the advocate assured them he would handle the e case at a reduced, minimal fee. CJP also informed the lawyer that they would be available and in touch for any further assistance for completing documentation of the couple or any other related matter.

There was another tragic twist to this tale, While talking to Bhaleno Bibi and her husband, we also learned how Bhaleno Bibi’s natal family has been refusing to part with land documents that could bolster and strengthen the case of the couple before the FT. Bhaleno Bibi, crippled by the weight of multiple burdens of poverty, womanhood, and a debilitating and arduous process of “proving her citizenship”, also requested CJP that they speak to the family and help them procure the documents. CJP’s team members assured them of providing assistance throughout the hearing of the case. They promised them they would talk to their extended family and convince them of the gravity and precarious nature of the situation and the crucial role that these land documents played in the lives of Bhaleno Bibi and her husband. To the relief of the couple, CJP’s team members went on to explain the extensive humanitarian work CJP does in Assam. They informed them that it works for all groups and does not display any partisan inclinations.

CJP State Incharge Nanda Ghosh informed, “Among the districts of Assam Dhubri, Chirang, Darrang, Goalpara, Bongaigaon are worst affected with this type of targeted Foreigners Notice. It has damaged the life of many women especially those belong to poor, marginalized sections.” “In these trying and sometimes overwhelming circumstances,” he continued, “CJP is standing with all those so deprived, simply to get justice.”


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