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Woman may lose citizenship taken after her marriage with Indian national

The District Administration Office, Udayapur, is preparing to nullify the citizenship of a disabled woman married to an Indian citizen.

Officials said they were investigating the legitimacy of citizenship obtained by Lajina Khatun, who was born to Nepali parents on April 28, 1987, and later became a naturalised Indian citizen by marriage.

Khatun, who got married seven years ago, had acquired a Nepali citizenship by descent last year. She had reportedly presented fake documents and kept her marriage a secret in order to become a Nepali national.

Krishna Prasad Paudel, the administrative officer at the DAO, said Khatun’s claim to nationality cannot be validated under the provision of the country’s constitution that maintains that a Nepali woman married to a foreign citizen will be considered a foreigner and thereby unfit to acquire Nepali citizenship.

“The legitimacy of her citizenship is subject to investigation. Since she had acquired the citizenship after her marriage to a foreign citizen, her citizenship could be rendered void,” Poudel said.

Khatun’s father Dil Mohammad admitted to helping his daughter obtain a Nepali citizenship so that she could get disabled allowance.

Though Khatun is born to an Indian citizen, both she and her husband have long been living in Udayapur along with their two children.

“As her parents, we wanted her to get disabled allowance. We had no intention of helping our Indian son-in-law get a Nepali citizenship, as accused by some people,” Dil Mohammad said.

Prakash Kumar Khadka, the government officer who had issued the recommendation letter for Khatun’s citizenship, said he had no knowledge about Khatun’s marital status when he issued the letter.

“I made the recommendation based on the statements of her family members and neighbours. I have written to the District Administration Office asking it to scrap her citizenship after learning that Khatun was married to an Indian national,” Khadka said.

Chief District Officer Bishnu Karki said the case was under investigation.

“If Khatun had indeed provided fake papers and lied about her marriage to a foreign citizen to get the citizenship, the state could punish her according to the law. Her citizenship will also be immediately voided,” he said.


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