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Assam woman asked to prove citizenship twice by Foreigners' Tribunal


Guwahati, Nov 1: A resident of Assam's Bongaigaon district has been asked to prove her Indian citizenship twice over by the Foreigners' Tribunal within a span of two years.

Bharati Sarkar was declared a bonafide Indian citizen by the Foreigners' Tribunal No. 1 of Bongaigaon in March 2019, but she has now been asked to prove her legal status once again by the FT.

A police officer said two cases were lodged against the woman and both referred to the FT, adding that she should be able to get the ruling in her favour without any hassle by producing the order copy of the other case. Sarkar, a resident of Jamdoha village under Manikpur police station of Bongaigaon, was served a notice by the tribunal on September 30 to appear before it on November 16, and provide evidence that she is not an illegal migrant.

However, she had proved her citizenship before the FT in a similar case, with the tribunal ruling in favour of her and disposing of the case on March 8, 2019. While the case in which Sarkar received relief was originally lodged by the SP (Border), Bongaigaon, in 2002, the second one dates back to 2004 and both were referred to the FT in 2010.

As per the tribunal's 2019 order, the woman, now in her sixties, was able to submit documents with evidentiary value , and that she does not appear to be a foreigner under the law. Another police officer said there could have been some lapse due to which the two cases were registered and forwarded to the tribunal separately.

The local police have been in contact with Sarkar and they are helping her submit the papers. On Monday, the process will be initiated, he said.

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