Man commits suicide after exclusion from Assam’s NRC draft, says family
Tense about being sent to a detention centre after being excluded from the draft list of the National Register of Citizens (NRC), a man in Assam’s Hojai district ended his life on Monday, his family claimed.
Police said they are investigating the death after the man’s wife registered a complaint against unknown officials.
Rahim Uddin (47), a small farmer died on Monday after he consumed a poisonous substance for the second time since Friday, his son Afzal Hussain said.
“My father was very tense since the NRC hearing where an official accused him of forging documents and said he will have to pay a hefty fine and spend time in jail,” said Afzal who arrived at his residence in Udali Kachari Gaon in Hojai district on Tuesday after hearing of his father’s death. Afzal works in a hotel in Kerala. He two other two other siblings did not make it even to the NRC draft.
Rahim Uddin made it to the draft list of NRC published on July 30, 2018 but was shocked to see his name in the latest list of exclusions published on June 26 which had over 1,00,000 names. The reason given to him by NRC authorities said “legacy person (through whom Uddin had traced his lineage to Assam pre 25 March 1971) is not parent/grandparent/great grandparent”.
According to complaint to the police by Uddin’s wife Minara Begum, he was tense about ending up in a detention centre as he believed those out of NRC would be sent to a detention centre. The complaint also said a NRC official told him about how he could be jailed and have to pay a fine. The complaint said Uddin consumed pesticide on June 19 after which he was taken to a hospital in Hojai.
He was brought back home on Sunday. He again took pesticide on Monday, his family claimed. “He was treated when he consumed poison first on Friday. He died after he took the poison again on Monday,” Afzal Hussain said.
Monwar Hussain, vice president of All Assam Minority Students Union said Uddin was hiding in a paddy field on Monday afternoon when he reached Udali Kachari Gaon after hearing about Friday’s attempted suicide.
“Suddenly a child came and said Rahim Uddin had suddenly collapsed in the fields. His family member rushed to him and brought him home. His wife asked if he had consumed something again and he replied in the affirmative. He died on his way to the hospital,” Monwar Hussain said.
Ankur Jain, Superintendent of Police, Hojai said the police did not find any pesticide or toxic substance at the place where the man is said to have taken the poison.
He said the police have registered a case and are investigating the complaint registered by the wife which does not name any NRC official. Jain, however, said he was not convinced.
“Why did the hospital where he was taken first on Friday not inform the police? Why did he consume poison so many days after the hearing? If it were two to three days after the hearing than one could have been more convinced it is connected to NRC,” he said adding there will be more clarity once the postmortem report comes out.
A police official speaking on condition of anonymity said the complaint linking his death to NRC could have been drafted with the guidance of AAMSU office bearers. A top police official in Guwahati, however, said that directions have been given for a thorough investigation.