Guwahati: A 70-year-old woman, who migrated to Assam from Uttar Pradesh with her husband in 1945, died when she got to know that her son, who was born and brought up in Assam was declared as a doubtful citizen of the state.
The incident came to light only after the death of 70-year-old Chhotki Devi Prajapati whose son Dinesh Prajapati and daughter-in-law Tara Devi did not find themselves in the final draft list of the National Register of Citizen's (NRC) Assam.
The duo, who have been languishing in a detention camp in Upper Assam’s Tinsukia district, were declared as Doubtful Voters (D-voters).
Chhotki Devi had migrated to Assam with her husband Parshuram Prajapati in 1945 from Balia district of Uttar Pradesh.
Office bearers of All Assam Bhojpuri Students Union said that the family was surviving on small farmland and a house given by the government under Indira Awas Yojna Scheme.
The couple had two sons--Dinesh and Rajesh and three daughters. All of them were born in Assam and eventually got married in the same state.
The mother fell sick soon after her son Dinesh and daughter-in-law were declared as doubtful citizens and asked to face trial in the Foreigners tribunal.
The elderly couple also looked after Dinesh's five kids.
Since the couple were struggling to make ends meet, they could not appear before the tribunal. The police then sent their son Dinesh and his wife to a detention camp around three months back.
“Since then, the mother has been running from pillar to post to get her son released. Nobody helped her and subsequently, she fell sick and died on Friday,” said the residents of the area.
The residents also informed that after the death of Chhotki, villagers are looking after Dinesh's five children.
Expressing grief, Assam BJP MLA Ashok Singhal who recently led a delegation of Hindi-speaking people of Assam to meet Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh told Deccan Chronicle that such harassment of genuine Indian citizens must be stopped.
He also added that hundreds of such Hindi-speaking people are facing harassment in the ongoing process of updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
Officials from All Assam Bhojpuri Students Union Ajay Singh and Awadhesh Rastogi said that there are dozens of such cases where people, who have migrated to Assam from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh have been declared non-citizens in Assam.
Despite assurances from Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, there has been no respite, officials said.
Claiming that majority of those left out are labourers, member of Hindi Bikash Parishad Vakil Rai said that organisations representing Hindi-speaking communities living in Assam have sought intervention after non-inclusion of a significant number of Hindi-speaking people in the complete and final draft of the NRC....