KOLKATA: Living in the fear of being jailed or even deported, several couples in their 60s and 70s from the minority community in West Bengal are queuing up to get their marriages registered.
The panic is visible in the districts along the Bangladesh border, which is dominated by Muslims. Most couples are treating the marriage certificate as their ticket into the NRC.
A marriage registrar’s office in Bhangar block in South 24-Parganas district recorded over 200 marriages over the last month and all the couples were from the minority community.
In the entire district, the number is over 600.
“Couples are getting remarried because of panic over the NRC issue. I have never witnessed such a thing in my 40 years as a marriage registrar. I have registered 150 marriages of couples who were above 50,’’ said Abu Syed from Bhangar.
Jahanara Bibi, a resident of Bijayganj in South 24-Parganas district, had tied the knot with her husband in 1960.
“I was a teenager when we got married. Now we got remarried because there was no document to prove that we are a married couple. If NRC is implemented here, we may get split from each other which none of us can think of at this stage of our life,’’ said Jahanara.
Jahirul Haque Tarafdar, in his early 60s from South 24-Parganas, said he never thought that he would have to remarry his wife in front of his three children and two grandchildren.
“We have nothing to establish that me and my wife are married. I remarried my wife fearing NRC’s implementation in Bengal,’’ said Tarafdar.
According to records available with the district marriage registrar’s offices in districts along India—Bangladesh border, more than 500 couple got remarried in Nadia, around 700 in Murshidabad and nearly 600 in Malda districts.