GUWAHATI: 40 Lakh people have been left out of Assam’s National Register of Citizens most of them from socio-economically backward communities. But most of those left out are poor and vulnerable.
Abdul Kadir is the Imam of the mosque in his village. He is a much loved and highly respectable member of his community. People look up to him for his wisdom and good counsel. However, now both, he and his wife Hamida Khatoon have been declared foreigners by a Foreigner’s Tribunal. Moreover, all his children have also been declared foreigners.
Abdul Kadir was born and raised in Solmari village located in Morigaon district of Assam. “My family discovered my ability to understand and memorise religious scripture at an early age and invested in my religious education,” recalls Kadir.
Kadir proved them right when he rose quickly among the Islamic clergy and became the Imam of their village mosque. “It is a huge responsibility, but also very satisfying to guide people through the ups and downs in their lives and make sure they do not venture away from the path of good,” says the 57-year-old.
But trouble began in 2017 when the Superintendent of the Border Police referred names of Kadir and Hamida to the Foreigners’ Tribunal in Morigaon stating that they were Bangladeshi. While both produced multiple documents including revenue receipts, land sale deeds, Haj travel documents and even names in electoral rolls, the FT was not satisfied and passed an order declaring them foreigners in November 2017.
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Now CJP, drawing from its previous experience in providing legal aid in Gujarat, will step in with a multi-faceted team of lawyers and volunteers to ensure that these people receive a fair chance while filing claims across 15 of the worst affected districts. Your contribution can help cover the costs of a legal team, travel, documentation and technological expenses. Please Donate Now.
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