An 83-year-old woman has finally won her long battle to prove that she is an Indian citizen. Akol Rani Namasudra, a resident of Assam’s Cachar district, was on Wednesday recognised as an Indian citizen by the Foreigners’ Tribunal of Silchar.
Akol Rani’s son Arjun Namasudra died by suicide in 2012, allegedly after a Foreigners’ Tribunal declared him a foreigner despite giving the same documents to the tribunal with which his mother Akol Rani on Wednesday was declared an Indian citizen.
The BJP campaign for the 2014 general elections had raised Arjun’s suicide, when the party’s candidate for the Prime Minister’s post then, Narendra Modi, mentioned about the tragedy.
On February 23, 2014, then BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, while addressing a rally in Assam’s Cachar, had said, “Arjun didn’t die for himself but for the rights of lakhs of people in detention camps. Arjun Namasudra has sacrificed his life for them.”
After that mention in the rally, BJP leaders had started visiting Akol Rani’s home to give support.
“Akol Rani Namasudhra has successfully proved her case by adducing cogent, reliable, and admissible evidence. She has clearly been able to establish the fact of her presence of herself on Indian soil as well as in the State of Assam, relatable to a period prior to 01.01.1966 in accordance with the law. Hence, I am of the considered opinion Akol Rani Namasudhra is a citizen of India and she is not a foreigner,” the order issued by Foreigner’s Tribunal-4 or FT-4 member Dharmendra Deb said.
It was 22 years ago that Akol Rani’s citizenship was first questioned by the Assam border police. Her daughter, Anjali Roy, won a similar case in 2013 just a year after her brother Arjun was pronounced a foreigner and he died by suicide.
On February 23 this year, the Silchar FT-4 issued notice against Akol Rani and asked her to prove her identity.
At the FT-4, Akol Rani gave a host of documents including voters’ list of 1965, 1970 and all the subsequent years when elections took place in Assam.