“He was a simple man, and lived a simple life,” said Manirul Islam about his uncle who died in a road accident on Tuesday. Hanif Ali, a 60-year-old farmer from Achalpara village in Goroimari circle of Kamrup district, was returning home after attending an NRC reverification hearing in Upper Assam’s Charaideo district when the driver of the Tata Winger passenger van lost control.
“It was about 4 am when the accident occurred near Goroimari – we were returning home from Sapekhati in Charaideo, and it was a long journey. The driver lost control and the vehicle turned turtle, claiming the life of my uncle,” said Islam.
Hanif Ali was rushed to the Goroimari Community Health Centre and later shifted to the Guwahati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) where he succumbed to injuries.
Ali had set off for Charaideo late Sunday night along with ten other family members for the reverification hearing. Earlier that morning, they collected the reverification notice from the Gaon Burah (village headman), after which they managed to book the vehicle for Rs 12,000. The entire family had to appear at the Nagarik Seva Kendra (NSK) in Sapekhati to get their citizenship documents for the National Register of Citizens (NRC) reverified.
“All our family members have used the same Legacy Data, and so we had to travel together for the reverification. The hearing was scheduled for 11am on August 5, and we reached at 10:40am after travelling a distance of about 517km. Everything went off well (till the accident). We could never imagine it would end like this,” said Islam who could not control his tears.
Blaming the state government and NRC authorities for the tragic accident he said, “If the notice wasn’t served a day before, we would not have had to hurry, leave our work and spend all our earnings in hiring a vehicle. If the NRC is not published according to the Supreme Court deadline of August 31, who will take responsibility for my uncle’s death, and so many others? If the government had any genuine concern for the natives, this reverification would not have happened. We are all enlisted in the complete draft NRC. Who will compensate for our loss when our names appear in the final NRC?”
Hanif Ali is survived by his wife and two songs, who are working in Bengaluru as daily wage earners, and a daughter.
In a separate incident on Sunday, a bus carrying 55 people from Sontoli met with an accident near Jorabat, about 25km from Guwahati – they were travelling to Golaghat district for the reverification of their citizenship documents. The villagers had each contributed an amount of Rs 700 to hire the bus to Khumtai where the hearing was slated for Monday. 30 people were injured in the accident, and seven of them are said to be in a critical condition at the Guwahati Medical College and Hospital.
Nine others from Kalahikash village under Chaygaon constituency are admitted at GMCH - they were also on their way for a reverification hearing to Golaghat when the Force Traveler they were travelling in crashed near Sonapur, 30km from Guwahati city.