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Home / North-east / Not a foreigner, yet out of NRC says president of the Assam Nepali Sahitya Sabha

Not a foreigner, yet out of NRC says president of the Assam Nepali Sahitya Sabha

Durga Khatiwara who won the Sahitya Akademi translation award in 2001, figured in the exclusion list of the NRC
Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal with Durga Khatiwara.
Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal with Durga Khatiwara.
(The Telegraph file picture)

Rajiv Konwar   |   Guwahati   |   Published 30.06.19, 09:58 PM

The name of Durga Khatiwara, the president of the Assam Nepali Sahitya Sabha, figured in the exclusion list published by the NRC authorities on June 26 though a foreigners tribunal here declared him “not a foreigner” in 2015.

The final draft of the NRC published on July 30 last year had the names of Khatiwara, his wife Nirupama Devi and elder daughter Varsha, but not the names of his younger daughter Barnali and son Samir. Khatiwara said names of his two elder brothers were in the final draft of the NRC and not in the exclusion list.

Khatiwara won the Sahitya Akademi translation award in 2001 for translating a short story collection from Assamese to Nepali.

Khatiwara told The Telegraph that the border police had sent his name to an IM(DT) tribunal in Nalbari in the nineties. “I was given two dates for hearings. But the member was absent on both the days. Following it the case remained pending,” he said.

In the meantime, the Supreme Court declared the IM(DT) Act ultra vires to the Constitution and Khatiwara’s case was converted to be heard under the Foreigners Act and shifted to a foreigners tribunal here.

“I had approached the foreigners tribunal at Ulubari in Guwahati myself,” Khatiwara said.

The judgment copy of the FT on May 22, 2015, says, “Having heard arguments of the learned counsel appearing for both the parties and having gone through the contents of the evidence on record both oral and documentary this tribunal is of the opinion that the O.P. is not a foreigner.”

The OP or opposition party was Durga Khatiwara also known as Durga Khatiwoda in the case against the Union of India.

Khatiwara said his parents live in a village Silikhabari under Dhekiajuli police station in central Assam’s Darrang district. The village is now under Thelamara police station under Sonitpur district. He said his parental grandfather’s name appeared in the 1951 NRC.

Khatiwara said he was born in Silikhabari in 1959, studied in Prajapati High School under Dhekiajuli police station. He passed class X in 1976, passed the Visharad examination from Assam Rastrabhasha Prasar Parishad.

In 1985, he came to Guwahati and obtained a teacher’s job in Tarun Ram Phukan School at Maligaon. He has lived in Maligaon since and retired in February this year.

“I had to attend a hearing in connection with the claims for my son and daughter around 20 days ago at Lokhra NRC centre in Guwahati. In the hearing, the officials went through the original foreigners tribunal judgment copy, took its photocopy. I thought everything would be settled. But to my utter surprise my name appeared in the exclusion list,” he said.

The exclusion list, that contains names of 1.2 lakh people, does not have names of Khatiwara’s son and daughter.

Khatiwara said he will go all out to include his name in the final NRC. The claim process for those whose names were in the exclusion list will begin from July 5.



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