Amid fears and doubt, Assam NRC scripts a few reunions

Amid fears and doubt, Assam NRC scripts a few reunions

NRC applicants

The updated National Register of Citizens (NRC) that left out over 19.06 lakh applicants in Assam for failing to prove their Indian citizenship triggered fear of family split, detention or deportation to Bangladesh.

The five-year-long exercise, however, had some heart-warming stories of family reunions during the family tree verification process. As a pre-1971 document of the head of the family, called a 'legacy document' was required to enlist in the NRC.

Family members, including sons and daughters, who were separated years ago had no option but to visit their kin for documents.

The NRC office here documented several such cases, where family members had to set aside differences to get their names enlisted in the updated NRC. 

Neglected father: Rupa Deb of Margherita in eastern Assam's Tinsukia district had submitted the legacy document of his father Noni Gopal Deb, for himself and his two sons, Abhishek and Rajib, in the family tree column of his NRC application. But Noni Gopal did not mention Rupa's name as his son as he had abandoned his father years ago. When NRC officials found the mismatch, they called all four to the family tree verification centre at Margherita on February 19 last year. Rupa had no option but to touch his father's feet, seek an apology and promised to take care of his old father to get his name enlisted in the NRC. 

Brothers reunited: Mon Bahadur Sharma, a 61-year-old resident of Dingdinga in Western Assam's Kokrajhar district got seperated from his father Premlal Sharma 45 years ago after his mother's death. Premlal left his son, married again and settled in Tinsukia, about 500-km east. As Mon Bahadur and Bhawani Shankar Sharma (Premlal's son from his second wife) used the same legacy data, NRC authorities called both of them for family tree verification. The two brothers, who came to know each other after 45 years, embraced each other.

Barriers broken: Makon Bora of Amalapatty in Nagaon district was "abandoned" after she married a Muslim man 35 years ago. As Makon, who became Sofia Begum after marriage and her sister Anjali Das used legacy of their father Kaliram Bora, both were called to the NRC office as their religion wasn't the same. The two sisters were reunited in an emotional moment and visited their parents' home together after 35 years.

Lost son returns: Sahjahan Ali, who was reportedly lost 35 years ago, returned to his home in Bilasipara in western Assam's Dhubri district in April last year seeking documents to enlist his name in the NRC. 

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