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Woman declared foreigner continued to vote in elections

By SANJOY RAY
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GUWAHATI, Dec 1 - If you thought that voting rights are entitled to only a bonafide Indian citizen, Assam ironically chooses to be an exception!

Despite being declared an illegal foreigner by the Court (IMDT) in 2005 and subsequently endorsed by a Nagaon court, Jahura Khatun continued exercising her franchise year after year escaping the glare of those at the helm of affairs, thereby making a mockery of the tall claims of the government machinery vis-�-vis detection and deletion of names of illegal foreigners.

Besides continuing to enjoy voting rights, Khatun secured the Electoral Photo Identity Card issued by the Election Commission and Aadhar card even before the same was introduced in Assam. Documents secured by her show her as a voter of Batadraba constituency. Discrepancy was also found in her date of birth in various documents.

The shocking incident came up before the Gauhati High Court recently. The HC, while expressing shock over the incident, set aside the case asking Assam Police to arrest Khatun immediately and put her in the detention camp till her deportation to her country of origin.

It also directed the Election Commission to delete her name from the voters� list immediately. Besides, the Court of Justice Ujjal Bhuyan and Justice Ajit Barthakur directed the NRC Coordinator to ensure that her name is not included in the NRC. It also directed the DC and the SP (Border) of Nagaon district to take follow-up steps immediately.

�It is quite apparent that the petitioner has resorted to falsehood and manipulation of documents to present herself as an Indian citizen despite her declaration as an illegal migrant. Thus the petitioner has not approached the court with clean hands. Therefore, both on merit and on equity, the petitioner is not entitled to any consideration of the court,� the order stated.

The court also directed the Border Police to monitor the consequential steps taken by the authorities concerned. Assistant Solicitor General of India SC Keyal represented the Govt of India.

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Woman declared foreigner continued to vote in elections

GUWAHATI, Dec 1 - If you thought that voting rights are entitled to only a bonafide Indian citizen, Assam ironically chooses to be an exception!

Despite being declared an illegal foreigner by the Court (IMDT) in 2005 and subsequently endorsed by a Nagaon court, Jahura Khatun continued exercising her franchise year after year escaping the glare of those at the helm of affairs, thereby making a mockery of the tall claims of the government machinery vis-�-vis detection and deletion of names of illegal foreigners.

Besides continuing to enjoy voting rights, Khatun secured the Electoral Photo Identity Card issued by the Election Commission and Aadhar card even before the same was introduced in Assam. Documents secured by her show her as a voter of Batadraba constituency. Discrepancy was also found in her date of birth in various documents.

The shocking incident came up before the Gauhati High Court recently. The HC, while expressing shock over the incident, set aside the case asking Assam Police to arrest Khatun immediately and put her in the detention camp till her deportation to her country of origin.

It also directed the Election Commission to delete her name from the voters� list immediately. Besides, the Court of Justice Ujjal Bhuyan and Justice Ajit Barthakur directed the NRC Coordinator to ensure that her name is not included in the NRC. It also directed the DC and the SP (Border) of Nagaon district to take follow-up steps immediately.

�It is quite apparent that the petitioner has resorted to falsehood and manipulation of documents to present herself as an Indian citizen despite her declaration as an illegal migrant. Thus the petitioner has not approached the court with clean hands. Therefore, both on merit and on equity, the petitioner is not entitled to any consideration of the court,� the order stated.

The court also directed the Border Police to monitor the consequential steps taken by the authorities concerned. Assistant Solicitor General of India SC Keyal represented the Govt of India.

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