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Assam NRC: HC rejects mother’s testimony as proof of citizenship

The woman, after being declared non-Indian, is now lodged in Jorhat District Jail’s detention centre

February 28, 2020 / 06:57 PM IST
Representative image

Representative image

The efforts of a Muslim woman to prove her citizenship has been rejected by the Foreigners Tribunal bench of Gauhati High Court in Assam. While rejecting the plea, the court observed that her mother’s testimony doesn’t prove her citizenship.

Nur Begum filed a petition in the Gauhati High Court against a Foreigners Tribunal’s order, which had declared her a foreigner in 2019.

The woman, who did not find a place on the NRC list, belongs to Assam’s indigenous Muslim population – the Jolha community – who have traditionally worked in tea gardens. She, after being declared non-Indian, now lives in Jorhat District Jail’s detention centre.

The High Court, on February 18, rejected her mother Jahurun Begum’s testimony as adequate proof of her citizenship. It was earlier junked by the foreign tribunal as well.

The court order stated: “Statement of Jahurun Begum (DW-2), who claimed to be the mother of the petitioner, cannot be relied upon in absence of documents showing her relationship, either to the projected grandfather, father or to the petitioner herself. Oral testimony of DW-2 alone, sans any documentary support, cannot be treated as sufficient to prove linkage or help the cause of the petitioner.”

Nur had even submitted documents to prove that she hails from the Jolha community and is not of Bangladeshi origin, reported NDTV. She had tabled eight documents, including a 1966 voters’ list containing her grandfather’s name, Class 9 school certificate, and a caste certificate. However, the bench observed that the school certificate will be considered only if the issuing authority testifies it.
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first published: Feb 28, 2020 06:57 pm
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