Assam BJP MLA Ashok Singhal said that harassment of genuine citizens must be stopped
Guwahati: In what has raised many eyebrows, a 70-year-old woman, who migrated to Assam from Uttar Pradesh with her husband in 1945, died of grief after their children, born and brought up in Assam, were declared doubtful citizens of India.
The incident came to light only after the death of Chhotki Devi Prajapati whose son Dinesh Prajapati and daughter-in-law Tara Devi are languishing in a detention camp in Upper Assam’s Tinsukia district.
Office bearers of All Assam Bhojpuri Students Union said that Chhotki Devi had migrated to Assam with her husband Parshuram Prajapati, in 1945 from UP’s Balia district, adding that the family was surviving on a small farmland and a house given by the government under the Indira Awas Yojna Scheme.
Parshuram Prajapati who passed away a few years ago had two sons, Dinesh and Rajesh, and three daughters, all of them born and married in Assam.
The mother, who was looking after the five children (mostly below the age of 15) of Dinesh, was languishing in a detention camp, and fell sick after Dinesh and her daughter-in-law were declared as doubtful citizens and asked to face trial in the foreigners’ tribunal.
Dinesh and his wife, struggling with poverty, could not appear before the tribunal, and about three months ago the police arrested them and sent them to a detention camp.
“Chhotki Devi was running from pillar to post to get Dinesh released. Nobody could help her and subsequently she fell sick and died on Friday,” said the residents of the area. They added that after the death of the grandmother, villagers are looking after the livelihood of the five children of Dinesh who and his wife, who were categorised as D-voters (doubtful voters).
Expressing anguish over the incident, Assam BJP MLA Ashok Singhal who recently led a delegation of Hindi-speaking people of Assam to meet Union home minister Rajnath Singh told this newspaper that such harassment of genuine Indian citizens must be stopped.
Pointing out that hundreds of Hindi-speaking people are facing harassment in the ongoing process of updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC), officials of All Assam Bhojpuri Students Union Ajay Singh and Awadhesh Rastogi said there are dozens of cases where people, who have migrated to Assam from Bihar and UP have been declared non-citizens.