NRC: Assam farmer who committed suicide was afraid his family would be divided
Deben Barman, the marginal farmer who committed suicide on Tuesday, was depressed over his son and grandchildren’s name not figuring in the draft of National Register of Citizens (NRC), his family members claimed.
The 70-year-old Barman, whose body was found hanging from a tree on Tuesday in Kanuri part 3 village of Dhubri in Lower Assam, was afraid that his family would be divided, said his daugther-in-law Kanika Barman.
The draft which came out on July 30 excluded 40 lakh names, including that of Deben’s son Mahendra and his grandchildren, 16-year-old Kishan Barman and 12-year-old Mousomi Barman.
Deben, his wife, and Kanika figured in the list. The family belongs to the Koch Rajbongshi community.
“He was worried the family would be divided — that Mahendra, Kishan and Mousomi will be taken away by the police and sent to jail,” Kanika said, adding, “Bohot bhay tha (he was too scared).”
Her husband Mahendra works as a carpenter in Meghalaya while she and her children live in Kanuri part 3.
“We are still investigating the reasons why he took his life, but it is a fact that the names of some of his family members were missing from the NRC draft released on Monday,” said Longnit Terong, superintendent of police Dhubri.
“Since the list came out, he would often sit in house and keep repeating what will happen now,” Kanika said, adding how “we are Indian citizens”.
“He would go to people in the village, to the masterji and others to ask what he should do now. He would ask whether the papers that the family has were enough for his son and grandchildren,” said Madan Chandra Barman, Deben’s son-in-law.
He, too, was approached by a worried Deben after the list came out. “I had told him we will see on August 7. If his name is on this list, there should not be any problem for his son,” Madan said.
The claims and objections process was initially scheduled to start on August 7. Now it has been postponed to August 10.
Assam government and the NRC secretariat had launched an intensive campaign to inform the public that those who do not figure in the draft list of the NRC will be provided ample opportunity to file claims.