15 documents later, Assam woman loses citizenship case in Gauhati HC

19 February, 2020 | newsx bureau

Jabeda Begum National

The resident of a remote Assam village, Jabeda Begum was declared a foreigner by the tribunal in 2018. The Gauhati High Court didn't accept any of her 15 documents as proof of her citizenship since...

A woman in Assam, who was declared a foreigner by the foreigners’ tribunal, has lost her case against the denial of citizenship even after submitting 15 documents to prove her Indian citizenship.

The 50-year-old, Jabeda Begum, is a resident of Assam’s Baksa district, some 100 km from Guwahati. She was declared a foreigner in 2018 and though she tried to contest the case in the high court, she could not get a verdict in her favor. The sole-breadwinner of her family, Jabeda Begum had to spend all her money to fight the case. She has an ailing husband Rejak Ali and three daughters of whom just one, Asmina, a Class 5 student, has survived; one died and another went missing.

A report quoted her as saying that she is struggling to feed her family since she has had to run pillar to post to prove her citizenship. Among the documents she provided to the high court include her income tax PAN, land revenue receipts, bank documents, the voters’ list of 1966, 1977, 1971 of her father. The court said the documents do not prove her citizenship and there is no documentation to prove her relationship with her father.

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Have a look at the story of Jabeda Begum:

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Begum’s biggest problem is that she doesn’t have a birth certificate though her village headman had issued her a letter mentioning her date of birth and her parents’ whereabouts. The court did not accept it. The headman of the village, Golak Kalita, who was present in court on behalf of Begum, said he has routinely issued such certificates to married women of their village, who came from elsewhere. The report said Begum’s parents migrated from Hajo to Baksa after they lost their land to the erosion of Brahmaputra. The family could not make it to the NRC.

The despair of Jabeda Begum reflects the growing, gnawing frustration among Muslims in India, who are on the tenterhook following the enactment of the Citizenship Amendment Act, which, as per BJP leaders, would be followed by the National Register of Indian Citizens and the National Population Register. The fear among them is that they would be stripped of their citizenship even though Home Minister Amit Shah has repeated himself several times that Indian citizens needn’t fear the CAA.