Kolkata man commits suicide, family claims CAA rules led him to it

A young 31 year old man has reportedly committed suicide in West Bengal. Debashish Sengupta was afraid that his ailing father, who came from Bangladesh, would be denied citizenship due to the paperwork contained in the recently enacted CAA 2019 Rules

In Subhashgram, South 24 Parganas district, Debashish Sengupta was discovered hanging. His family has claimed he took his own life due to anxiety and fear related to the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), as per the police.

Roy was originally from Netaji Nagar in Kolkata, but he had gone to his maternal grandparents’ residence for a visit and was staying there before the  incident unfolded. According to police reports, Debashish’s family found him hanging on the night of March 20 and rushed him to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead upon arrival.

Debashish’s father, Tapan Sengupta, has alleged that his son often expressed fears about the implications of the CAA and how he would prove his citizenship if the need arose. As per a report by the Indian Express, Tapan Sengupta described the situation in the police complaint, “…Since the announcement of the notification of CAA, my son had been suffering from mental trauma and agony and was also in acute fear psychosis for not having all the required documents as prescribed in the said notification…”

According to the Deccan Chronicle, he has urged the police to prevent such incidents, and termed the CAA as a ‘draconian Act.’

According to the New Indian Express, Debashish’s relatives have claimed that he had been experiencing panic attacks ever since the announcement of the implementation of the CAA. Furthermore, he has been particularly worried about his father who is bedridden and had migrated from Bangladesh but lacks proper documentation of his migration.

In response to the situation, the BJP has slammed the TMC in turn for creating fear in the minds of citizens. A delegation from the Trinamool Congress (TMC), led by state minister Shashi Panja visited Debashish’s family the following day. Similarly, Srijan Bhattacharya, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) candidate for the Jadavpur constituency also offered his condolences and criticised both the TMC and the BJP for politicising the CAA issue, according to Indian Express.

In 2019, chief minister of West Bengal, Mamata Bannerjee had claimed that over 11 people had committed suicide in fear of being sent to detention camps.

Similarly, Assam Rajya Sabha MP Sushmita Dev has slammed the BJP for bringing the law, saying what happened in Assam is now happening in West Bengal, “In Assam, during the NRC rollout, many took their lives, uncertain of their citizenship. Now, Bengal faces the same tragic reality after the CAA notification.” Assam has seen the implementation of the National Registry of Citizens process. The process has seen over 19 lakh people declared excluded from the list. Several people in the state have committed suicide due to the fear of being sent to detention camps. As the government recently notified rules for th CAA, Assam has been up in protests. Citizens for Justice and Peace had reported in 2019 of a 70 year Hindu man who had been forced to kill himself in Assam after he was declared stateless. iN 2019, CJP had provided a list of 51 names people understood to have died by suicide in Assam  after Assam’s first updated draft of NRC was released in 2018.



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