Assam: Jawans, dropped from NRC, remind "they fight enemies"
The final list of National Register of Citizens (NRC) has left a trail of heartbreak in Assam. With the main objective of weeding out illegal Bangladeshi immigrants, the citizens' list was made in 1951 and its updated record was released for the first time last Saturday. However, the list excluded several jawans of the Indian Army, and they are, obviously, deeply disappointed. Here's more.
What is NRC, what it did? All your questions answered
NRC was updated on Supreme Court's orders. The mammoth exercise began in 2015 and reached a climax on Saturday. The government spent nearly Rs. 1,220 crore and engaged almost 50,000 employees. To be declared "Indian citizen", Assam residents had to prove a relationship with those in first NRC or in electoral rolls till March 25, 1971. Of the 3.3 crore applicants, 19,06,657 were excluded.
Surprisingly, jawans of "Fauji Gaon" were left out from NRC
The possibility of being sent to detention centers sparked a gloomy atmosphere in Assam before Saturday. And when the list was released, this emotion touched new heights, especially at a village in Barpeta district, called "Fauji Gaon". The village is home to over 20 jawans posted in Army and paramilitary forces. To their utter surprise, some of the jawans didn't make the cut.
CISF personnel was called an "intruder". Can you beat that?
Take Dilbar Hussain's story for example. Names of both Hussain, who serves in Army, and his brother Mizanur Ali, who works with CISF, were missing from the list. But Saidul Islam, Hussain's elder brother who fought during Kargil War, was included. Apparently, Ali was called an "intruder". "How is this possible? DSP verified my candidature when I had to join the CISF," he said.
We fight enemies but have to struggle for citizenship: Hussain
Separately, Hussain said, "We fight enemies. We regard our Army family first, but we are deeply disheartened after the release of the final list of NRC. There we are Army jawans, but here at home we are fighting to get Indian citizenship."
Another jawan revealed his father cried after Saturday's list
Something similar happened with Ajit Ali as his name was missing from the final list. This development made his family worried, he revealed, adding that his father broke down. "My family is not speaking, but thinking why have they been almost declared foreigners. What should they do? Shall we fight enemies on borders or solve this issue back at home," Ali asked.
With hope, villagers look towards the government
Supporting the jawans, a villager named Babul Khan, said, "This is a village of faujis. We don't know why the names have been dropped. Now, the government should do something for them immediately."