A resident of Assam, Amila Sah was declared foreigner by a Foreigner’s Tribunal and due to this, she was arrested and sent to a detention centre in Assam earlier this month. The 40-year-old Sah failed to provide documents clarifying her birthplace and that’s why she was declared a foreigner until her family came to her rescue.
Her father has clarified that she was born in Bihar but her family has been living in Assam since the colonial era.
The state police arrested Sah on June 15 from Dholaibeel area in Sonitpur district. Earlier on April 30, the Foreigner’s Tribunal claimed that Sah couldn’t provide documents to prove that she is, in fact, the daughter of Keshab Prashad Gupta, who was born in Nalanda in Bihar and had moved to Pratapgarh Tea Estate in Assam in 1948.
While Sah was left out, her family members’ names including her siblings have been registered in the National Register of Citizens (NRC) draft. “On 15 June, she was sent to the detention centre. We are genuine Indians. We are Hindi speaking people living in Assam with roots from Bihar. Our father had migrated from Bihar. We are poor and less literate so would document keeping is patchy but that does not mean we are not Indian. Our names have come in draft NRC list,” Sah’s brother Ramesh Sah said, NDTV quoted.
As per Biswanath District Committee of the CPI (M), 40-year-old Amila Sah, wife of Ram Dulal Sah, is a permanent resident of Jamugurihat-Dholaibeel area under Jamugurihat police station of Sonitpur district.
“Amila Sah is the daughter of late Keshab Prashad Gupta, an inhabitant of Pratapgarh Tea Estate and they have been living in Assam since the British regime. Besides their names are available in 1951 legacy data,” the Biswanath District Committee of CPI (M) stated, Northeast Now reported.
“On 15 June, she was sent to the detention centre. We are genuine Indians. We are Hindi speaking people living in Assam with roots from Bihar. Our father had migrated from Bihar. We are poor and less literate so would document keeping is patchy but that does not mean we are not Indian. Our names have come in draft NRC list”
The Sahs have decided to move the Gauhati High Court against the declaration of the Foreigner’s Tribunal. “It’s not the question of NRC. NRC is to detect illegal migrants from a foreign land. We are migrants from mainland India, from Bihar, how can my mother be a foreigner,” Amila’s son Bhola said.
NRC initiative focuses on detecting illegal immigrants in the state that borders Bangladesh. The draft NRC was last published on July 30, 2018, which led to huge public outrage over the exclusion of 40.7 lakh people from it. The draft NRC includes the names of 2.9 crore people out of the total 3.29 crore applications.
The government has decided to release the final NRC list from Assam on July 31.
Picture credit- NDTV