Pawan Kumar Rathi and his wife Suman Rathi displaying their documents of being Indian citizens at their residence in Silchar. Image credit - Northeast Now

It seems the National Register of Citizenship (NRC) update process going on in Assam would continue to push many genuine citizens of India spend sleepless nights.

After the publication of the exclusion list of NRC issued on June 26 last the matters have turned worse as several Indian citizens’ names have been dropped from the draft NRC.

Pawan Kumar Rathi, whose forefathers have ancestral home in Kalu of Bikaner district in Rajasthan, found a notice served of being a ‘declared foreigner’ on July 1 this year by the NRC authorities.

Also read: Assam’s ‘declared foreigner’ Sunirmal Bagchi heaves a sigh of relief

Rathi, a man from the Mrwari community, who was born in Silchar under Assam’s Cachar district and a resident of the town, was dumbstruck only to find his name as a ‘declared foreigner’.

His is a hardcore BJP member who even contested the Silchar municipality elections last time.

His name along with his family members was there in the first draft of NRC list published on December 31, 2017 but he is now running from pillar to post to get his name cleared from the tag of being a ‘foreigner’.

Also read: Born at Assam’s Silchar in 1943, Sunirmal Bagchi declared ‘foreigner’

Rathi, even faced a ‘hearing’ for the notice served in Kumbha NRC Seva Kendra on July 6 last and is now knocking on the doors of the NRC Cell of Cachar.

After being served the notice, Rathi even travelled to his hometown, Kalu in Rajasthan to collect more documents to prove his identity as a genuine Indian citizen.

Breaking open his father’s ancestral house, as no one resides now, Rathi, talking to Northeast Now said, “I got to know of being served a foreigner’s notice from a fellow BJP cadre when I was in Delhi.”

Also read: Assam: Woman lodged in detention camp for 19 months after tagged as ‘foreigner’

“I rushed to my ancestral place hurriedly to collect more documents and had to break open my father’s belongings to show more proof of my being an Indian citizen.

“I got all these documents certified by the village panchayats there, who were stunned to hear that I have been served a foreigner’s notice,” added Rathi.

Rathi added, “I have in my possession all documents including my name in the electoral roll, passport, driving license, Aadhar card, land documents, but still I have to see my name as a declared foreigner.”

“I am really saddened and even worried that I have close to 40 documents to prove that I am a genuine Indian citizen, but what about other illiterate people who don’t know a word of it, or the value of these documents.

“I hope that my name will be there along with other members of my family when the final list of NRC is declared on July 31 next,” hoped Rathi.

No case was found against Pawan Kumar Rathi at the SP Border’s office, yet, coming up of his name as a ‘declared foreigner’ raises question on the very nature of the process of NRC update work that is going on in Assam, his wife Suman Rathi told Northeast Now.

Suman Rathi said, “The names of his two brothers along with 13 other family members who reside in Silchar are listed in the first NRC NRC, including ours. Then how come all of a sudden his name gets tagged as a declared foreigner in the exclusion list?”

“The agony and pain to be referred as a foreigner is even more hurting us each day,” added Suman Rathi.

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