Exclusion from NRC drives Assam lawyer to take extreme step

first_imgExclusion from the updated National Register of Citizens (NRC) reportedly drove a 74-year-old lawyer in north-central Assam’s Kharupetia to death on Sunday. This was the third such case since the publication of the complete draft of the NRC on July 30.Family members found Nirod Kumar Das hanging in his room after returning from his routine morning walk. An autopsy confirmed death by hanging, said Chandan Goswami, incharge of the local police station.Raju Saha, the brother-in-law of the deceased, said Mr. Das appeared disturbed since his name was dropped from the NRC. “His name had figured in the first partial list (published on December 31, 2017) but the local NRC processing centre handed him a document two months ago saying his name has been put on hold as he has been declared a foreigner,” he said.Family members in NRCAll other members of his family – wife, three daughters, their husbands and children – and most of his relatives figure in the NRC. A note left behind by Mr. Das said he was ending his life to “escape the humiliation” of being marked a foreigner after the NRC process. “He blamed no one, listed five people he owed up to ₹1,200 and requested us to return the money,” Mr. Saha said. The septuagenarian had studied law after a 34-year teaching stint at the local government school. A decade ago, he began practising at the district court in Mangaldoi town, 16 km west of Kharupetia.“He was one of the most jovial members of our bar association. But he underwent a drastic change in the last two-three months, and would often mumble about his uncertainty as a citizen of Assam,” Mangaldoi-based lawyer Billal Hussain told The Hindu after attending Mr. Das’s cremation on Sunday evening.The Mangaldoi Bar Association has scheduled a condolence meeting on Monday.On September 3, Mr. Das had lamented in local publications about his “statelessness” and how he felt let down by the very system he was trying to uphold.“My legal documents since 1956, my father’s legacy data of 1966 and my own of 1971 (the cut-off year for detecting and deporting illegal migrants), and by government service mean nothing to the authorities. How can a man prove his citizenship if they are determined not to accept my documents provided by the government?” he wrote.The Assam State Committee of CPI(M) on Sunday wrote to the Supreme Court seeking the inclusion of all 15 admissible documents for the claims and objections phase of NRC that started from September 25.IIT-Guwahati helpline for students in collaboration with Saathi: 8486814024. Saathi uses this helpline for non-IIT cases too.last_img read more