Declared 'foreigner' in 2017, Assam woman is recognised as Indian citizen
Dulubi Bibi (50), a resident of Udharbond area in Cachar district, was declared a foreigner by the Foreigners’ Tribunal-3 of Silchar on 20 March 2017
A name mismatch in multiple voters’ lists led to the a woman in Assam being declared an illegal immigrant from Bangladesh in 2017, only for her to be acknowledged as an Indian citizen based on circumstantial evidence six years later, officials said.
Dulubi Bibi (50), a resident of Udharbond area in Cachar district, was declared a foreigner by the Foreigners’ Tribunal-3 of Silchar on 20 March, 2017 during hearing of a 1998 case under the Illegal Migrants (Determination by Tribunals) Act (which was later re-registered under Foreigners Tribunals Act in 2015).
Tribunal member BK Talukdar had observed in his order that Dulubi Bibi failed to prove that she and her father were born in India and resided in its territory prior to 1971, and as such the tribunal was of the opinion that she had migrated to India illegally.
It found that she was identified by different names in various voters' lists and there were mismatches in the names of her father and grandfather, too.
The tribunal also ordered the police to arrest Dulubi Bibi and keep her under detention. She was later released from the detention centre on bail following a directive of the Supreme Court and in May this year, she challenged the 2017 Foreigners' Tribunal order in Gauhati High Court.
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The District Legal Service Authority (DLSA), Cachar provided her free legal support and appointed advocate Mahitosh Das as her lawyer, who said the high court directed the tribunal to hear the case again.
“During the tribunal’s hearings, Dulubi Bibi claimed she had adequate evidence to prove her connection with her grandfather, whose name appeared in multiple voters' lists before 1965,” Das said.
She was declared Indian by the same tribunal member BK Talukdar, who had earlier declared her an illegal immigrant in 2017, he said.
Talukdar was convinced with the materials produced and arguments placed before him, and declared her as an Indian citizen, the lawyer said.
"... My considered opinion is the OP (Dulubi Bibi) is a citizen of India born out of Indian citizens living in Indian soil," Talukdar said in his order issued earlier this week and made available to her on Thursday.