Why is the Assam Border Police fingerprinting rural housewives?

Written by Deborah Grey | Published on: October 20, 2018

The Making and Re-Making of Indians as Citizens in Assam: A CJP Series


Assam NRC

Something insidious is underway in Tubuki village in Kampur Tehsil of Assam’s Nagaon district. Border Police personnel are allegedly going to people’s homes late at night demanding fingerprints! Three women from this village have alleged that officers of the Border Police came to their homes after dark, asked them to provide fingerprints and left after making them sign a document in English, a language they don’t understand.


Momina, Jamila and Raziya are housewives from rural Assam. Occasionally, these women take up daily wage work to supplement their family income, but mostly they are busy looking after their young children, the sick and the elderly people in their families. When the Border Police men came knocking at night demanding their fingerprints, two of the women complied, a third resisted.

But now the women fear their fingerprints could be misused. We met the women when our fact-finding team visited Assam in June 2018.

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