In an appalling incident, two women were mistaken as surveyors collecting data for the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC). They were attacked by the mob in Rajasthan and West Bengal on Wednesday, January 22.
According to the media reports, Nazreen Bano, who was collecting data for the National Economics Census 2019- 2020, was manhandled in Kota’s Brijdham area.
Also, in a separate incident in West Bengal, a woman’s house was set on fire by a mob following rumors that she was collecting data for the proposed nationwide NRC.
As per a leading daily report, residents in the Brijdham area initially gave all information to Nazreen Bano who works for the National Economic Census department.
However, 4-5 families called her back and asked her to delete the data. Her mobile phone was snatched away and the app installed for the economic census was deleted. When she told the crowd that she was a Muslim like them, she was asked to recite a verse from the Quran. She was let go after she showed them an “Ayat Al-Kursi (The Throne Verse) card” from her wallet.
The crowd mistook her as an enumerator for the CAA and NRC. “I explained to them that the data collected was related to the economic census and had been uploaded on the portal and that there was nothing wrong in it. But they were not convinced and started misbehaving with me,” she was quoted as saying.
In another incident in West Bengal’s Birbhum, a mob attacked 20-year- old Chimki Khatun’s house suspecting her as a surveyor for NRC.
The residents of Gourbazar village set Khatun’s house on fire. Khatun and her family members had to take shelter at the Mallarpur police station following the incident.
She works for Google India and Tata Trusts’ digital literacy initiative for rural women, Internet Saathi. However, police and administration denied that the incident was linked to the NRC.