Kolkata: Among those shaken by exclusions from the final updated list of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) is a family from western Assam whose members have been serving for the country’s defence for years. The final NRC, which validates bonafide Indian citizens of Assam, was out on Saturday, with over 19 lakh applicants who failed to make it to the list staring at an uncertain future.
A total of 3,30,27,661 people had applied to be included in the NRC. Of them, 3,11,21,004 have been made it to the list, while 19,06,657 names have been excluded, a statement from the NRC State Coordinator's office read. Those who have been excluded from the NRC have 120 days to appeal against it at the Foreigners Tribunals.
Though the Assam government has ruled out detention of people who do not figure in the list under “any circumstances” till the time Foreigners Tribunals declare them as foreigners, questions are being raised about the process that have failed to verify the nationalities of even those who have worked in the defence sector, including a Kargil war veteran and BSF jawan.
After having fought his case at the tribunal, Barpeta resident Sahidul has finally made it to the list, but the names of his brothers Delbar and Mizanur are missing from it. Sahidul, who won the case at the tribunal on April 1, 2019, had included the details of all his family members while filing his documents, but the final updated list didn’t seem to have taken it into consideration.
While Sahidul is a subedar posted at Binnaguri in Jaipaiguri, Delbar is a sepoy of the Indian Army posted in Lucknow and Mizanur a CISF constable working in Chennai. Sahidul has two more brothers identified as Rustam and Danish, both of whom are local businessmen. Their names have appeared in the NRC list. However, Danish’s daughter Sumaiyya has not been included, though his wife Nazma’s name featured in the list. Above all, their mother Khudeja Begum’s name too missing from the list.
With so many exclusions, Sahidul, unable to enjoy the fruits of having won the nationality case at the tribunal, told News18, “Sir, we are in a state of shock. We are confused and can’t figure out what to do. Some of my family members’ names are included, while names of some are missing. What is going around? Can you send someone to help us? Of the five brothers, three of us work for the Army and CISF. We gave our life to serve our beloved nation and as a reward, the government excluded ours brother’s names.”
“We would like to request the state government to look in to our case. Otherwise we will be devastated. Ever since the NRC list came out, we are in a state of trauma,” he added.
Unable to fathom the consequences they might have to encounter, Delbar said, “After serving the nation for years, I never felt so humiliated the way I feel today. God knows what is going around.”