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Assam NRC: A 40-Day-Old Baby Died as His Parents Waited at a Hearing Centre (Video)

“Why should I have to take my baby son so far away for a hearing…?” Zabeda asks.

The process of preparation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam has pushed suffering on lakhs of people running pillar-to-post to prove their citizenship or that of their family members. Zabeda Khatun  is one such person.

In a video by Karwan-e-Mohabbat, Zabeda and her husband Anar Hussain say that both their names appeared in the draft NRC but they had to go to the hearing centre in Patachurkuchi, Barpaeta, 50 kms away from where they lived, because Zabeda’s sister’s name was misspelt in the list.

“We submitted all the required documents, the officer went through them and asked us to stand in line. I told my wife to feed our infant son,”  recounts Anar.

“I was about to feed him when I realised he was dead…my son had been crying a lot because we had no water to drink. We were half dead ourselves. We didn’t know it would take so much time” Zabeda says.

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The heat took its toll on their 40-day-old baby whom Zabeda was holding as they waited.

It was for one correction that the entire family had to be present at the hearing. “Why should I have to take my baby son so far away for a hearing…?” Zabeda asks.

The Supreme Court-monitored NRC process has been criticised as inherently discriminatory against ethnic and religious minorities. There have been reports of people committing suicide upon finding their names missing from the draft list or being added to the additional exclusion list. The draft list excluded around 40 lakh people and the additional exclusion list took this tally up by 1 lakh people. The final NRC will be published on July 31.

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