Jahida
(L) Jahida Sultana; (R) Abdul Jabbar

Guwahati, August 31, 2019:

Ex-Minister Abdul Jabbar’s daughter, Jahida Sultana’s name has been included in the final National Register of Citizens (NRC). The highly-respected Jabbar is one of the Asom Gana Parishad’s stalwarts, and was elected in Assam Legislative Assembly election in 1985, 1991 and 2001 from the Dalgaon constituency.

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While talking to Inside Northeast, the 88-year-old Jabbar said that the exclusion of his daughter’s name is extremely puzzling. “The officials had told us that her name would be included, so how can this be? This is injustice!”, he thundered. “We have no option but to approach the Foreigners Tribunals now”, Jabbar lamented.

Jahida Sultana (Moonmoon), an Associate Professor of Kharupetia College, disclosed, somewhat shockingly, that the decision to exclude her name could have been entirely “random”.

She told Inside Northeast that the ahead of the publication of the NRC, her husband had approached the local-level workers, and was assured that their family would be included in the NRC. “However, when the NRC was released, only my husband’s name figured in it. Again, before the publication of the second draft, we were again assured that my name, along with that of my two kids, would be included, but to no avail.”

The family’s interactions with the NRC authorities would continue to bear no fruit. Jahida Sultana’s husband told Inside Northeast that he had again visited the local NRC authorities, and was again assured that the name would figure in the draft. “However, we have seen that the higher-level authorities ask the employees to ‘reverify’, and some names are randomly stricken off the list. We believe this is a completely random process, which is truly baffling..”, he said.

When the final NRC draft arrived, the family found out, to their utter dismay, that Jahida’s name was still missing from the list. However, the names of her two children were included.

“We want the names of the original inhabitants to featured and those of the illegal immigrants to be excluded. However, what is happening right now is hardly fair”, she lamented.

The NRC, which is a list of bonafide Indian citizens in the state, has excluded over 19 lakh people from the final list.

People excluded from the NRC would get 120 days to present their cases at foreigners’ tribunals. The state Government aid to the defendants through district legal service authorities. Only if these foreigners’ tribunal uphold the NRC authorities’ decision would people be detained. Moreover, many political parties of Assam (AGP, Congress, etc) have offered legal counsel to the people not included in the NRC.

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