Hundreds of women originally hailing from Alipurduar and who were married in the neighbouring state of Assam now fear that they will be tagged as foreigners after they failed to make it to the final list of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) that was published on 31 August in Assam.

Relatives of these women in many parts of Alipurduar district are spending sleepless nights thinking of their daughters and sisters who are now living in families in Assam being labeled as foreigners, it is learnt. Sukumar Barman, 55, is one of the hundreds of men living in Alipurduar district who are worried about the future of their sisters married to men in Assam more than 20 years ago.

Mr Barman, a resident of Pakriguri village under the Kumargrame block in Alipurduar district, is now at a loss as to what will happen to his sister Krishna who had been married to a man in the Gurkhola Kanupara village under Gosaigaon district in Assam 30 years ago. “Her name did not appear in the final list of the NRC,” he said. “We are two brothers and two sisters. Both the sisters are married in Assam. Krishna was not registered in the final NRC list, while my younger sister and all her family members found a place in the list with the same documents that Krishna too has,” Mr Barman told The Statesman today.

“My sister is crying as we talk over the telephone and she now wants to come back to our house in Pakriguri to get more documents needed to fight in the tribunal made for the NRC in Assam. We do not know what more documents we can supply from here. All our documents prove that our father came here before 1971 and they have already been submitted,” Mr Barman added.

As Alipurduar and Assam share old relations, many girls from the district are married in Assam and vice-versa. Meanwhile, the publication of the final draft of the NRC has not affected activities on the Assam-Bengal border area, district police sources have said. “The Assam-Bengal border is as normal as it was before the publication of the list. Naka checking is going on the border areas as earlier,” Alipurduar SP Nagendranath Tripathy said.