GUWAHATI: A BJP MLA in Assam has been served a notice by a court of foreigners’ tribunal that asked him to prove he is an Indian.
Kishor Nath, who represents the Barkhola constituency in southern Assam’s Barak Valley, his wife Nilima Nath and his four brothers Matilal Nath, Pradip Nath, Jagadish Nath and Manik Nath besides sister-in-law Rakhi Nath were served the notices by the court of Foreigners’ Tribunal No 1 of Cachar district two days ago. They will have to depose before the court on different days and prove with documentary evidence that they are Indian citizens.
The MLA told The New Indian Express he was surprised that he and his family members had been served the notices on the suspicion that they were illegal Bangladeshi immigrants.
“I am surprised that a people’s representative has been served the notice. I am a son of the soil and we have been living here (Barak Valley) for three generations. We all will depose before the court respecting its order and submit documents to prove that we are genuine Indian citizens,” Nath, who has been asked to depose before the court next month, said.
He said during a survey carried out between 2008 and 2012 for the verification of documents of people, a section of officials did not carry out the exercise properly. He said had they done it properly, people would not have been harassed.
“I am trying to find out the official based on whose report the court of foreigners’ tribunal served the notice to me. I had always heard about allegations of harassment by officials, engaged in the detection of illegal immigrants. Now that I have received a notice, I have no doubt that genuine Indians are harassed on the suspicion of being illegal immigrants,” the MLA said.
The courts of foreigners’ tribunals serve such notices to people based on the reports of the border police. The notice to the MLA has been served at a time the National Register of Citizens is being updated in the state. As per the exercise, the illegal immigrants, who entered Assam after the midnight of March 24, 1971, will be deported.