Ten years back her son Arjun Namasudra committed suicide out of fear after he got a notice from a Foreigners’ Tribunal in Assam.

Today, 82-year-old Akol Rani Namasudhra from Southern Assam’s Cachar district has finally been declared an Indian citizen.

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The Foreigners’ Tribunal (FT) in Cachar district’s Silchar ruled that Akol Rani was “not a foreigner” after she had successfully proved her case by “adducing cogent, reliable and admissible evidence”.

On February 23 this year, the Silchar FT had issued a notice to Akol Rani Namasudhra, asking her to prove her Indian citizenship.

“Namasudhra… has successfully proved her case by adducing cogent, reliable and admissible evidence. She has clearly been able to establish the fact of presence of herself on Indian soil as well as in the state of Assam, relatable to a period prior to January 1, 1966 in accordance with law… Namasudhra is a citizen of India and she is not a Foreigner,” said the tribunal’s order, passed on Wednesday by Foreigner’s Tribunal-4 member Dharmananda Deb.

As per records of FT-4, a case was registered against Akol Rani Namasudra in FT-2 of Silchar on 29/02/2000 under Illegal Migrant Determination by Tribunals (IMDT) 1983. The IMDT was repealed in 2005 and a fresh case registered against her in 2011 under FT-4. However, none of the FTs issued any notice against Akol Rani till February 23, 2022.

One “Sub-Inspector of Police (Border), the then in-charge of Kinnorkhal Police Watch Post under Katigorah Police Station, had submitted a prayer petition before the Superintendent of Police, Cachar, stating interalia that he had reliably learnt through confidential source that one Bangladeshi national namely Akol Rani Namasudhra, W/O Late Ananta Namasudhra, Vill. Haritikor Part-I, entered India through an un-authorized route after 25th day of March, 1971, and was illegally staying without any authority. Hence, he made a prayer before the Superintendent of Police, Cachar, Silchar to register a case under Illegal Migrants (Determination by Tribunal) Act, 1983 for enquiry”.

Alok Rani’s counsel Anil Chandra Dey said her client’s name had appeared in the voters’ list of 1965, 1970 and all the subsequent years when elections took place in Assam. 

“During cross-examination of …(Akol Rani), she deposed that she had cast her vote in the year 1965 and since then she has been casting her vote regularly. She also deposed that her daughter namely Anjali Roy was declared Indian in Reference Case No. FT 2nd (D) 4485 of 2012 by the learned Member of Foreigners Tribunal No.2, Silchar on 13.07.2015 by producing her documents” the Foreigner Tribunal mentioned in its order.

The court also took reference of Anjali Roy’s case who was also “casting her votes regularly and her name is enlisted in the Voter List of 1970, 1977 & 1985”.  Akol Rani’s daughter Anjali Roy had won the case in 2012 after her brother Arjun committed suicide.

“We were able to establish the fact that Akol Rani was not a foreigner but an Indian Citizen. The Foreigners Tribunal was pleased enough after the submission of the documents and conduct of the case. Akol Rani comes from a financially poor background and we assisted her as much as possible,” said advocate Dey.

The octogenarian’s son Arjun had committed suicide in 2012 out of apprehension after he and his sister Anjali Roy got notice from the Foreigners’ Tribunal.

The BJP, during its 2014 Lok Sabha election campaign, had raised Arjun’s suicide issue. Then Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, while addressing a rally in Cachar district on February 23, 2014, had mentioned about the tragedy.

Rupam Nandi, the chief conveyor of All Cachar-Karimganj-Hailakandi Students’ Association (ACKHSA), said, “This is a clear case of harassment by embroiling innocent people in the pages of law and FTs. Someone based on his claimed sources lodged a complaint and ruined one whole family. Can we get back her son?”

Holding a press conference in this regard, Nandi, on Thursday, demanded strict action against the Investigating Officer who launched the “false” complaint against Namasudhra.

Also read: Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council polls on June 8: Assam SEC

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