Nearly A Decade After Sons Death Under Citizenship Cloud, Assam Woman Declared Indian

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Nearly A Decade After Son's Death Under Citizenship Cloud, Assam Woman Declared Indian

After convincingly proving her case by "adducing compelling, credible, and acceptable evidence," the Foreigners Tribunal (FT) in Cachar district's Silchar determined that 83-year-old Akol Rani Namasudhra was "not a foreigner."

Nine years ago, her son purportedly committed suicide after being presented with a notice to establish his Indian citizenship. She received a similar notification three months ago, and she was eventually proclaimed "Indian" on May 11. Her family is celebrating a "really joyous event." However, 83-year-old Akol Rani Namasudhra is unaware of this.

"We'll tell my mother in the morning...we went through a lot because of this issue," said Anjali Roy, Akol's daughter.

Akol's daughter Anjali effectively defended her own citizenship in 2015.

Akol Rani Namasudhra Finally Declared Indian

After convincingly proving her case by "adducing compelling, credible, and acceptable evidence," the Foreigners Tribunal (FT) in Cachar district's Silchar determined that Akol was "not a foreigner."

Akol, a native of Haritikar hamlet approximately 20 kilometres from Silchar, was called by the Tribunal earlier this month on the basis of a lawsuit filed in 2000 claiming she had "illegally" entered India after March 25, 1971.

Her children, Anjali and Arjun, got a summon from the Tribunal in 2012 to verify their legal citizenship. The family claims Arjun committed suicide after being disturbed by the summons.

PM Narendra Modi's Reaction

While actively campaigning for the 2014 Lok Sabha election in Cachar before becoming Prime Minister, Narendra Modi expressed his sadness over the tragedy.

"The Assam administration (of the Congress) abused human rights in the guise of detention camps; Arjun's death was not in vain; he sacrificed for the rights of the lakhs of Assamese detainees; he dedicated his life...We will not let it go to waste," PM Modi said, according to The Indian Express.

Daughter Anjali Declared Indian, Mother Akol Not

The Tribunal proclaimed Anjali Indian in 2015.

However, Akol was issued a notice in February 2022, which Anjali characterized as a "shock."

"Because of what actually happened to my brother, we had already been through a lot; We couldn't imagine that after all that, after what the Prime Minister stated, my mom would have to go through it all over again," she explained.

Local attorneys assisted the family.

"They paid for everything without costing us anything." So it was a comfort," Anjali, 55, remarked.

Anil Dey, a Silchar-based counsel, told The Indian Express that Akol was a "true" Assamese inhabitant.

"She was born and raised here." "Aside from her name showing on voter lists in 1965, 1970, and 1977...she also had pre-1971 land deeds in her name," he explained.

He also indicated that this was the foundation on which they were able to confirm her citizenship.

Akol testified at the Tribunal that her father, Gopi Ram Namasudhra, was a permanent resident of Haritikar and that following her wedding to Ananta Kumar Namasudhra, she voted for the first time in 1965 in the hamlet that she lay within the Katigorah Legislative Assembly seat.

Declared Indian On The Basis Of Voter Documents

During cross-examination, Akol stated that her daughter was designated Indian in 2015 based on voter documentation.

Dharmananda Deb, Member of the FT-4 (Silchar) Constituency, stated that it looked like Akol had been "casting her vote from the year 1965 until date" and had registered her name on the electoral rolls of 1965, 1970, 1977, and 1985. He further stated that Anjali was certified Indian based on the 1965 Voter List, which included the names of her parents, Ananta Kumar Namasudhra and Akol Rani Namasudhra.

"In line with the law, she has convincingly established the fact of being on Indian land as well as in the State of Assam prior to 01.01.1966," Deb added.

Citizenship is a problematic issue in Assam, with local parties accusing the state of being overrun by "illegal migrants" from Bangladesh. Following many protests by these groups, the Supreme Court ordered an amendment to the National Register of Citizens (NRC) to recognize "foreigners."

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