Nagpur: Muslims are looking for papers with the NPR, the NRC, to prove citizenship

NAGPUR: Alarmed by the imminent introduction of the National Population Register (NPR) exercise to be accompanied by the National Citizens ‘ Register (NRC), many Muslim cities are now running from pillar to post trying to collect their own documents as well as those of their ancestors to prove citizenship.

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While there is no clarification as to what paperwork is going to be required, people start with birth and death certificates. The basic reason Muslims are first in the queue is the fear of becoming stateless in the event that they fail to make it to NRC as the Citizenship (Amendment) Act has disqualified the religion from obtaining nationality.

For many, Qabristans (cemeteries) is the first destination where they bury their parents and grandparents. The irregular visits are caused by their parents and grandparents ‘ incomplete birth and death records next to their own.

On Monday, TOI visited the Department of Birth and Death of NMC, Jaripatka and Mominpura burial grounds, which are said to be the oldest in town dating back to 1857. Officials confirmed that there is a sudden rush to get birth and death records from all three places.

Amateur Rahman Khan, NMC health officer and sub-registrar, said so far that many have not cared to hold or misplace decades of death certificates. “We still have to get the guidance, but people want all documents to be kept in place,” he said. Khan said that on the NMC website, people can also check their records online or visit his department.

Worried people who have been queuing up at NMC’s Civil Lines office since morning are guided to bring a’ ghat copy’ or acknowledgment from the place where the last rites were held for a delayed birth/death certificate being further processed.

Records are available at Mominpura from 1938 when a couple of days ago they received a request for a 1925 death certificate. Officials from Jaripatka said they had documents from 1965. In order to get a’ ghat copy’ or burial acknowledgment letter, people need to show slips issued by Qabristan Committee at the time of burial.

Several document seekers are those whose parents have passed away and have no certificates of birth/death. Surprisingly, they have records from their ancestors. “People feel that death certificates should fit grandparents ‘ birth/death certificates to prove that their parents were legal Indian citizens besides their own documents,” said an official.

Another clause pursuant to Section 13(3) of the 1969 Registry of Births and Deaths requires certificates to be given subject to certain conditions. An applicant must carry a’ ghat copy’ and send it to the department that performs a police verification and prepares a non-availability (NA) application to be submitted to JMFC with ID proof of the deceased. The applicant must then obtain a favourable order based on which the certificate is issued by the NMC. For delayed birth certificates, school leaving certificate and ID proof has to be submitted for preparing the NA proposal.


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