EXCLUSIVE: Despairing of Justice, the 30th Citizen commits Suicide in Assam: NRC

After being falsely accused of being a ‘foreigner’, Deepak Debnath of Udalgiri district, Assam committed suicide by hanging himself in a grove near his house. This is the thirtieth such incident in the span of four years since the process of updating NRC.

This was a tragedy foretold. In the run up to the publication of the final draft of the NRC, a number of last minute decisions taken by the NRC state coordinator and a sudden rise in the number of cases of ‘D-voter’ being referred to foreigners tribunals by the border police in Assam, has ensured that a number of genuine Indian citizens were left out of the register.

The many potent ramifications of such a move was not lost on the men and women who found themselves excluded. That some of them would be pushed to take an extreme step was certainly possible. An alert, compassionate state government might have taken steps to alleviate fears and ensure that the the natural principal of ‘innocent until proven guilty’ was clearly communicated. And since no such move is forthcoming from the ‘leaders’ in Assam, many more of such tragedies seem to be now a certainty. Sabrangindia has painstakingly collated this list of suicides that we will be releasing shortly.

Assam NRC

Mr Debnath’s name had appeared in the first draft of the NRC, published on December,31, 2017 but had been struck off the NRC final draft released on 30th July this year. The reason listed for rejection was a ‘Pending case in Foreigners Tribunal’ case that the Border Police has mysteriously foisted in him in the intervening months. In a cruel twist of fate, his ‘legacy’ data, that establishes him as a bonafide Indian citizen as his name in the 1971 voter list.

The humiliation of being labelled a ‘foreigner’ in his own land, fearful of what the future holds for him and his family, especially in the light of rampant fearmongering by right-Wing politicians and regional supremacist groups, Deepak Debnath chose to kill himself today morning. Watch Sabrangindia’s exclusive reportage here.

In our efforts to bring national focus to the tragedies unfolding in Assam, Sabrangindia has been reporting on the entire process. The
ramifications of this curiously exclusionary process are far-reaching especially for persons who hail from marginalised communities and have little access to the laborious criminal justice system. The combination of a callous bureaucracy and a politically motivated process, skewed by the current RSS-BJP ruled dispensation has converted, the entire process of the compilation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) into a maccabre tragedy.

This is even as the Supreme Court monitors the process and the ‘mainstream media’ selectively reports on this hug process underway in Assam.

Assam: Deepak Debnath’s ‘legacy’ data was his name in the 1971 voter list. It establishes him as a bonafide Indian citizen

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