Assam NRC: Death toll rises to 57, 6 people die in 13 days!

Guwahati, 8 July: Assam, that has been facing a humanitarian crisis on account of an environment of uncertainty, anxiety and fear, just saw six people taking their own lives in a span of just 13 days. These people committed suicide after the Additional Exclusion list was published on June 26, 2019 leaving out over one lakh more people from the National Registr of Citizens (NRC).

First to succumb to hopelessness and despair was Nur Nehar Begum, adolescent girl from Rawmari Chapari that falls under the Dalgaon Police Station in the Darrang district. Her name had not appeared in the NRC draft published on July 30, 2018. When the Additional List was published on June 26, 2019, Nur and her confused family didn’t quite grasp the purpose of the list. In the absence of proper councelling or correct information, Nur urged them to go to the Nagrik Seva Kendra (NSK) to check if her name appeared in the list, not knowing that only names of people who were left out would appear on the list. When they called from the NSK to tel her that her name was missing, Nur felt frustrated and dejected and hung herself.
Next was Joynal Abedin, a daily wage labourer of Dumerguri village, that falls under Abhayapuri police station in the Bongaigaon district. He was disturbed as names of some members of his family did not appear in the previous NRC draft. He had filed claims and hearing were on, but a group of miscreants allegedly told him that the names would be included only if he paid a heafty amount of money. Failing to collect the amount, Abedin hung himself on July 3.  
But the macabre dance of death did not end there. Next to die was 37 year old daily wage labourer Rahim Ali from Bantipur village that falls under Kayakuchi police station in Barpeta district. Devastated that three of his children’s names had been included in the Additional Exclusions list published on June 26, 2019, Ali who worked in Guwahati rushed back to his village. He tried to get information how to deal the upcoming hearing to be held on 6th July. But, when he couldn’t, he went into the forest nearby and hung himself. His body was discovered a few hours later.

Rahim Ali
Rahim Ali
Kulsum Begum of Barkhetry area under Nalbari District also took the extreme step as she was facing trouble getting linkage documents required in the process of updating the NRC. This is an acute crisis among married women as most of them do not have birth or education certificates and therefore find it difficult to provide evidence of linkage to their fathers. Kulsum also hung herself.
On July 8, twin suicides took place in Baksa and Dhemaji District. In Chunpura village that falls under Gabardhana police station of Baksa District, 59 year old Ambar Ali was facing D Voter cases since 1997. None of his family members’ names appeared in draft NRC. He had been acutely distressed due to this for a few years. When he came to know that his family has been left out as he is a D Voter, he went to the railway track at Gandharipara near Barpeta Road and killed himself by sitting in front of a running train.

Ambar Ali
In another incident of 8th July, Amar Majumder of Silapathar of Dhemaji District in upper Assam hanged himself. He was facing NRC hearing related trouble despite allegedly having all valid documents. 
The recurrent suicide cases have witnessed sharp reaction from all rights group of Assam. The Bharatiya Nagorik Adhikar Surakshya Mancha, All Assam Students Union (AAMSU), All BTC Minority Student’s Union (ABMSU), All BTC Bengali Youth Student’s Federation (ABBYSF) and various other organizations have alleged that the general people are facing undue harassment despite having all sorts of legal documents. The general masses are losing faith upon the constitutional and legal system of the country. If such discriminatory tendencies of the government, Foreigners Tribunals and NRC authority continue, it will be mockery of constitutional democracy in India.

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