A foreigner’s tribunal (FT) in Jorhat district, Assam, has declared a Border Security force assistant sub-inspector and his wife non-Indians. Muzibur Rahman, a resident of the Meerapani district, posted in Punjab, only got to know of this notice last month. He told a local Assam news channel that he has proofs of his Indian nationality dating all the way back to 1923, according to a Hindustan Times report.
All his family members, his brothers, parents, are all Indian nationals. He claimed that he was listed as a D-voter (Doubtful Voter) based on a drunkard’s statement.
The report in Hindustan Times reveals that in Assam, there are 100 FTs, a quasi-judicial body which arbitrates on the nationality of persons termed suspected foreigners by the border unit of police or termed D-Voter (due to suspicion about the citizenship) in the electoral rolls.
“Notices issued to us to appear before the FT were sent to someone else’s address. As I was posted outside Assam, I was not aware of it nor were we informed about it by the village chief,” Rahman added.
According to Section 9 of the Foreigner’s Act, 1946, the onus of proving nationality lies on the person itself. Hence, when Rahman failed to show up for the court hearing his ex-parte was proceeded and the final judgment was given.
At present, the National Register of Citizens (NRC) is being updated in Assam to identify Indians residing in the state and weed out illegal immigrants. Names of persons declared foreigners by FTs or termed D-voters will not be included in the final NRC list.