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ABDUL GANI | 11 JUNE, 2017

Assam Cop Asked to Prove Citizenship: 'D' Voters List Expands

ABDUL GANI


GUWAHATI: Abu Taher Ahmed, in his late 30s is a constable at South Salmara Police Station in Assam’s South Salmara district located in the south west corner of the state.

He has been with the state police for the last 10 years but he is unlikely to forget March 16 of 2017, in a hurry.

Ahmed was served a notice to asking to prove his citizenship. He was suspected to have entered India illegally from Bangladesh by a Foreigners Tribunal court, on March 16.

“I was shocked. I didn’t know what to do. I’m just a constable. All my documents were verified when I was enrolled in the job,” a disturbed Ahmed told The Citizen.

The notice was issued on March 15 , 2017 under the FT case no 2123/2016 and police case no 1066/2000. He is a resident of South Salmara. The notice has also asked Ahmed to be present in the FT on August 8 to prove his citizenship.

“I have to abide by the law. What the court has said, I will follow it. I am an ordinary man. I hope it will be cleared soon,” a helpless Ahmed added.

He, however, said that no other family member has ever faced a similar incident.

This is not the solitary case where Indian citizens have been served notice. Aman Wadud, an activist and advocate wondered at a system that could charge a cop of many years of not being a citizen of India.

“This extremely unfortunate and shockingly it keeps on happening. This is the negligent attitude of the government agencies for which genuine Indian citizens are harassed and many end up spending time in the detention camps,” Wadud said.

Following this, Assam DGP Mukesh Sahay has asked for details as to how this notice was issued.

“We have sought the details from the South Salmara SP. It could be some error also or may be some old records but I can speak of it only after getting the details,” said Sahay.

South Salmara Superintendent of Police Amrit Bhuyan said that they will have to wait for the court verdict before doing anything.

Earlier in a similar incident a school teacher Sahjahan Kaji from Barpeta who has been doing election duty for several years was barred from voting, because of suspicions about his citizenship.

According to the government records there are around 1.36 lakh “doubtful” or D voters in Assam, with the list growing. These D voters are doubtful citizens who are barred from casting their votes.

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