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29th "NRC-related" suicide in Assam, as Nirod Baran Das takes his life by hanging on a fan

By Our Representative
Reporting 29th case of National Register of Citizens (NRC)-driven suicide in Assam, one of India’s human rights campaign sites has said that, on October 20, tragedy struck Kharupetia town in Darrang district of Assam, when a retired school teacher and advocate Nirod Baran Das “took his life by hanging himself to a fan in his home.” The report adds, “The NRC process has so far claimed over two dozen such lives in the past four months alone.”
According to the report, Das as “fearful and insecure of being arrested, wrested of his citizenship, declared a non-Indian, took his own life after hanging himself from a fan in his home”, claiming, NRC had declared him a foreigner even though “he was born and brought up in the town where he taught” and was in “possession of all the legacy documents.”
Reports Sabrang India, “Three documents were found after Das, an intellectual and a pillar of the local community, was found dead. First was the NRC notification declaring him a foreigner, second was a note stating that none in his family was responsible for the decision to take his own life, and third was a communication to his wife to re-pay four five persons small loans that he had taken.”
Writing for the site, Zamser Ali, referring to videos on the suicide, says, if previously they were labourers and people belonging to working classes, “this time the suicide victim is none less than a retired teacher and a practicing advocate.” He adds, “Surprisingly, Das was not intimated of any proceeding against him before he was summarily declared a foreigner.” Ironically, “Das’ name existed the 1951 NRC.”
In one of the videos, released by Sabrang India, a close associate of Das describes how he was born and brought up in Kharupetia, details the school where he had studied, passed his matriculation examination. He returned to the same school to teach. The associate is seen calling the suicide “a huge loss to the local community” even as pointing towards “how the victim was deeply worried about his pension, about being thrown out of the country.”
Ali says, family members and locals rose in protest against the last rites (as seen in another video, released by Tazgir Hussain on Facebook) demanding that the superintendent of police (SP) register a case, insisting, the FIR should say that this was “an NRC-related death”, adding, “Finally, SP agreed to register an FIR and promised compensation to the family within a month.”
Reporting more NRC-related suicides in the recent past, Ali says, 70- year-old Deben Barman was found hanging from a tree in Dhubri district on August 7, and 44 year old Rajesh Singh was also found hanging in his home in Udalgiri district the following day.”
He adds, “Before that, Binoy Chanda, the only earning member of his family, became the tenth suicide victim in Assam since the BJP came to power in May 2016 due to the ‘D’ (doubtful) voter issue. The poor youth of Dimlapar village under the Tamulpur Police Station in the Baksa district committed suicide late at night on Sunday, September 9, due to fears that his mother, Santi Rani Chanda, was going to be declared a foreigner by the Foreigners Tribunal.

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