12, Dec 2019 | CJP Team
While helping people negotiate the tortuous journey of defending their citizenship in Assam, CJP’s District Volunteer Motivator (DVM) Majidul Islam came across a very interesting case of Abdul Hoque aka Buida Sheikh’s family in Kandapara village in Barpeta district.
Abdul Hoque and his family lost their home due to floods in North Mayunburi village and thereafter had started living in Kandapara village. In North Mayunbu, Abdul Hoque was known as Buida Sheikh amongst his family and neighbours. In Kandapara, however, people knew him as Abdul Hoque. Hence, his children wrote father’s name as Abdul Hoque in their documents.
Now that the final NRC has been published, and 19,06,657 people have been excluded from the final list, CJP’s campaign has become even more focused. Our objective now, is to help these excluded people defend their citizenship before Foreigners’ Tribunals. For this we have already started conducting a series of workshops to train paralegals to assist people at FTs. We will also be publishing a multi-media training manual containing simplified aspects of legal procedure, evidentiary rules, and judicial precedents that will ensure the appeals filed against the NRC exclusions in the FTs are comprehensive and sound, both in fact and in law. This will assist our paralegals, lawyers and the wider community in Assam to negotiate this tortuous process. For this we need your continued support. Please donate now to help us help Assam.
But this led to two different names appearing in his documents. The legacy data of 1951 of Abdul were in the name “Buida Sheikh” while the Gram Panchayat Certificate and PAN card has his name as “Abdul Hoque”.
Abdul was declared as D-Voter (Doubtful Voter) in 1997 and no application was made by either or his family to get this rectified. Abdul passed away in 2013 leaving behind 3 daughters and 3 sons.
In 2015 Abdul’s children applied for NRC and used the Star ID of 1966 while applying. A Star ID is a temporary ID issued in case someone’s name is found in the Legacy Data image, but there’s no Legacy Data Code already assigned, and after verification of particulars a Legacy Data Code is issued against the Star ID.
Now, the brothers and sisters used different set of documents to submit to the Nagrik Sewa Kendra (NSK). While the sisters used legacy document of 1951 of the name Buida Sheikh as well as Gram Panchayat Certificate and PAN card in the name of Abdul Hoque, the brothers submitted only the 1951 legacy document which bore the name ‘Buida Sheikh’. The twist in the tale comes now; the daughters got included in the NRC while the sons did not!
As per notice issued by NRC office in July 2019, if legacy person is a D-voter, his descendant claiming through him will also get excluded from NRC unless his name is cleared by the Foreigners Tribunal before the final list of NRC. This did not happen in the case of Abdul Hoque. Therefore, all children of Abdul Hoque should have been excluded from NRC. However, due to the dual name issue in this case, the daughters who used their father’s former name documents, were included while the sons remained excluded.
Even a lay man can deduce from this case that the process of NRC is not foolproof, that it has some major lacunae that have not been addressed before the final list could come out. This can be attributed to the unrealistic deadline was given by the apex court for conclusion of this process. It is also reflective of how, to a certain extent at least the NRC process in Assam is haphazard and common people are suffering the consequences of this ill-conceived process.