Assam Family’s NRC Ordeal: 2 Deaths, Bleak Future & Endless Trauma
On 5 August, Asma Khatun lost her two sisters, Joimon Nisa and Arjina Begum, in a bus accident in the Kamrup district of Assam. They were returning from an NRC re-verification hearing in Golaghat. Joimon was 34 years old and Arjina was only 14.
The sisters were part of the NRC. On 3 August, notices by NRC authorities were served to the family, which lives in Dakachang village, to appear urgently for document re-verification.
The only snag was that they had to appear for the hearing within 24 hours and the hearing centre was almost 300 km away in Golaghat, in upper Assam.
Asma blames this last-minute NRC hearing notice for the death of her sister.
It’s not just the two deaths. The accident has also left multiple members of the family seriously injured. Ajizul Rehman used to run the family-owned grocery shop in Dakachang, but the accident has left him bedridden.
The other brother, MJ Ahmed, was lucky to have escaped with just one broken arm. He says that if they had got enough time to appear for the hearing, the accident would perhaps never have happened. NRC authorities are supposed to give at least 15 days’ notice to the respondent to appear for a hearing.
The two deaths have left the family shaken. They are unsure if their names will remain in the final NRC. For now, they have to deal with an uncertain future and trauma.
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