NRC Process Harassing for My 80-Yr-Old Mum & She’s Still Excluded

The entire process is a human tragedy with the complete burden of proof on genuine citizens.

My Report
3 min read

Video Editor: Deepthi Ramdas

My name is Nilanjan Chanda, an IT professional based out of Kolkata. I want to highlight the pain and anxiety that my family, especially my octogenarian parents, are going through after my mother Krishna Chanda’s name was excluded from the final NRC list that was released on 31 August, 2019.

My mother, now 80 years old, was born in Kolkata. She did her schooling in Kolkata and graduated from Calcutta University in the year 1962. My mother’s maiden name is Krishna Ghosh and her father’s name is Ramendranath Ghosh. My father (Paritosh Chanda, 86) is originally from Assam. His name was included in the NRC draft list along with my name. My parents got married in April 1971, after which my mother moved to Assam.

My mother on the day of her marriage in  1971.
My mother on the day of her marriage in 1971.
(Photo Courtesy: Nilanjan Chanda) 

My mother is a retired school teacher from Assam and also a Assam Government pension holder. Her pension document clearly states that she started working in 1963.

She is also a valid voter and possesses a legitimate PAN card and Aadhar card. Despite of all these valid proofs, she was excluded from the final NRC.

(The Quint is in possession of said documents.)

She poignantly points out,

“We have submitted all the proper documents. The sad thing is that only my name is not in the NRC. At this age, if my name is not in the NRC, what will happen to me? I’ll be put in a detention camp.”
Krishna Chanda

My parents are now in Kolkata with me, and have had to put their medical treatment to halt because of all this.

Long Verification Process

During the verification process, the officials had asked my mother to prove her linkage with her father. She was asked to prove that she was indeed the daughter of Ramendranath Ghosh. The fact that she married and her surname changed to Chanda was not considered.

My mother’s graduation certificate of 1962 from Calcutta University is in her maiden name (Krishna Ghosh) and it does not mention her father’s name. She does not have any other document to prove the linkage.

We had also submitted the property and land document of my maternal grandparents; however the authorities were not interested. The authorities continuously insisted on proving the linkage of my mother with his father.

My parents on the day of their marriage. 
My parents on the day of their marriage. 
(Photo Courtesy: Nilanjan Chanda) 

My father was thereafter asked by them to make a phone call to any of my mother’s cousins so that the authorities can cross question and tally the information provided.

One of her cousin’s based out of Kolkata, who is over 70 years old, was then questioned by the NRC verification officials over the phone about my mother’s identity. After they validated all the facts and expressed satisfaction, we were confident that the name would go through. However we are shocked to find out that her name got dropped finally. My father echoes the sentiment.

“According to the advertisement given by the NRC for the inclusion of names in the NRC...The required papers to be submitted, documents to be submitted, we have submitted all these. Still, Krishna Chanda’s name hasn’t come.”
Paritosh Chanda 

There were a lot of cost and logistical challenges involved to make oneself physically present in the verification in NRC office, particularly for senior citizens who are of ill-health. The entire process is a human tragedy with the complete burden of proof on genuine citizens.

While we would fight this injustice legally within the ambit of constitutional rights and we are very hopeful of fair outcome and justice, this needs to be highlighted so that the authorities notice the plight of several other genuine citizens who have been impacted by this erroneous process.

My parents were harassed and our health is affected. We are in a very pitiful condition.

(All 'My Report' branded stories are submitted by citizen journalists to The Quint. Though The Quint inquires into the claims/allegations from all parties before publishing, the report and the views expressed above are the citizen journalist's own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for the same.)

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