CITIZENSHIP KILLS : NRC/D-Voter Suicides in Assam

The contested citizenship question in Assam has real human costs. What follows is a list of NRC/D-Voter suicides compiled by Independent researchers based mostly on the deaths that got publicly reported. The list was sent to us by Abdul Kalam Azad.

Sl No Date of Committing Suicide Name Age Address Identity Category Brief Note
1 Jul-15 Angat Sutradhar 57 Pakoriguri village under Salbari Police in BAKSA district Hindu (Assamese) NRC Due to complexity of the NRC process,
2 01-07-2015 Saibun Nesa Laskar 45 Sonai, Cachar Muslim (Bengali) NRC She failed to gather the legacy data. The fear of getting excluded from NRC and deported torn her apart and committed suicide
3 Nov-15 Jamir Khan 75 Tikak China Basti under Ledo Police Station in Tinsukia district Muslim NRC/D Voter He was a D voter and in the fear of getting excluded from NRC, he hanged himself
4 06-09-2016 Aklima Bewa 62 Dankinamari, Majgaon, Bongaigaon Muslim Reference Case Her daughter was indicted as suspected foreigner by Border Police.
5 01-12-2017 Anowar Hussain Elderly Bahmura, Goalpara Muslim NRC His daughter got a notice for verification and panicked. The poor man who works in an eaterly got panicked and consumed poison and killed himself
6 03-12-2017 Akram Uddin Barbhuyan Elderly New Ramnagar, Silchar Muslim (Bengali) NRC He failed to provide sufficient document during the NRC verification process which made him worried and hanged himself to death
7 01-01-2018 Hanif Khan 40 Kashipur (Part-II), Cachar, Silchar Muslim (Bengali) NRC Hanif Khan’s name was not figured in the first list of the NRC. By profession a driver, committed suicide owning to the fear of deportation
8 19-03-2018 Bijit Sen 60 Silchar, Near National High Way Hindu (Bengali) NRC Though Sen’s name figured in the first draft of the NRC, his wife name didn’t and that made depressed and committed suicide
9 23-03-2018 Lalson Ali Shatagaon, Barpeta Muslim D Voter Despite having legacy data and other documents he was marked as D voter, due to fear of detention he committed suicide
10 09-04-2018 Ratan Rai 40 Pandu, Guwahati Hindu (Bengali) NRC Ratan Rai was working in government’s inland water transport authority. In the first draft of the NRC his name didn’t appear. Due to the fear of getting excluded from final list and losing citizenship he hanged himslef
11 10-04-2018 Sahimoon Bibi 45 Near Dibyapara Railway Station, Dhubri Muslim (Bihari) NRC She migrated from Muzaffarpur, Bihar long back and couldn’t find legacy data. She got mentally depressed and tired committing suicide. In first attempt she was not successful but in second attemt she took her life.
12 11-06-2018 Gopal Das 65 Nislamari, Tangla, Udalguri Hindu (Bengali) Reference Case His family got notice from Foreigners Tribunal, poor family was under pressure to manage the expenses and the head of the family Gopal Das committed suicide
13 Jul-18 Balijan Bibi 45 Jogighopa, Bongaigaon Muslim Detainee/D Voter She was lodged in Goalpara detention center prior to her death. Her husband, who had been a voter since 1985, got himself enlisted as a D-voter, allegedly due to a clerical error in his name (Azhar instead of Azbahar) and was given a Foreigners’ Tribunal notice in 2012.
14 Jul-18 Abola Roy 40 Halakura, Dhubri Hindu D Voter His was served D voters notice. He first tried to kill his wife and then kill himself
15 07-07-2018 Khorgo Bahadur Gurung 57 Sadia, Tinisukia Nepali NRC Entire family excluded from NRC

(Asomiya Pratidin 10th August)

16 07-08-2018 Deben Barman 71 Dhubri Hindu NRC The names of Deben Barman, his wife Shome Barman and daughter-in-law Konika Barman appeared in the NRC, the name of his son Mahendra Barman (48) and two grandchildren did not appear in the draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) published on July 30.
17 08-08-2018 Rajesh Singh 44 Nakhuti Village (part II), near Dashiri Tea Estate, Majbat, Udalguri Hindu (Hindi Speaking) NRC/Detention Singh’s mother Nikhilesh Singh was served a D Voter notice and directed to appear before a Foreigners’ Tribunal twice, but she ignored it. She was therefore declared a foreigner ex parte and remanded to a detention camp one and a half years ago. Due to acute poverty, Rajesh Singh could not do anything regarding legal course to get his mother out of detention camp, adding to his feelings of helplessness and frustration. Then when the NRC final draft was released on July 30, he was shocked to discover that names of all members of his family have been excluded. After week long mental disturbance, Rajesh Singh finally took his own life. His neighbours feel Rajesh Singh took this extreme measure fearing the uncertain future.
18 08-09-2018 Binay Chanda 32 Tamulpur, Baksa Hindu NRC Excluded from NRC and his mother’s D voter case is pending in tribunal
19 14-10-2018 Bimal Chandra Ghosh 59 Karimchowk, Mangaldoi, Darrang Hindu NRC Retired teachers, worked in NRC but his name didn’t appear
20 20-10-2018 Nirod Baran Roy 74 Kharupetia Hindu NRC 74-year-old Nirod Baran Das, who practised law after retirement, was found by his family members, hanging in his room at his home in Assam’s Mangaldoi, about 100 km from capital Guwahati. He was found hanging after he had returned from his morning walk, a police officer said. Mr Das studied law after serving as a teacher at a government school for 34 years. Nirod Baran Das’ family said he was upset when a local NRC processing centre informed him that he had been marked a ‘foreigner’ and was given a document about two months ago. Mr Das was also recently served a notice from the Foreigners’ Tribunal.
21 28-10-2018 Deepak Debnath 49 Gagra Village in Udalguri Hindu (Bengali) NRC The family of the victim said he was upset after he received a notice from the foreigners’ tribunal in Udalguri that he was a suspected foreigner and will have to prove his citizenship. His family has made an allegation that the officials of the Udalguri Foreigners Tribunal demanded a bribe to settle the case. However, his name appeared in the both NRC drafts.
22 11-11-2018 Abdul Jalil 35 Abhayapuri Muslim NRC As per reports, names of Abdul’s wife Halima Khatoon (25) and son Hamidul (10) didn’t figure in the draft NRC. Local alleged that Abdul was depressed after Halima and Hamidul’s names were not enlisted in the draft. He hit himself with a machete and died.
23 14-11-2018 Samsul Haque 45 Barpeta Muslim NRC His wife was alleged as a suspected foreigner, she fought the case and successfully defended her Indian citizenship last year. But didn’t figure in the NRC.
24 19-11-2018 Surendra Barman

(Personal reports from Zamser Ali, Associate Editor at CJP)

27 Srirampur, Gossaigaon, Kokrajhar Hindu (Rajbonshi) Reference Case/NRC Two years ago went to urban area to work as daily wage earner. One day police came and took his details and later on he got to know that police has registered a reference case accusing him to be illega immigrant. His name didn’t appear in the complete draft NRC. He was depressed and finally committed suicide. He was the main wage earner of the family.
25 20-11-2018 Monnas Ali

(Personal reports from Zamser Ali, Associate Editor at CJP)

65 Sonitpur Thelamara Muslim NRC His family got eroded several times and got economically weakened. All his family members name included in the NRC but his name was missing
26 16-12-2018 Kailash Tanti 50 Sontila Tea Estate, Hailakandi Adivasi NRC Kailash Tanti’s is a tea garden worker in Hailakandi district of southern Assam. His entire was excluded from the draft NRC. He was depressed for a long time. He was suffering from the fear of being arrested by police and put in detention. He used to get anxious if he saw three/four people in a group and thought the police might have come to arrest him. The family informed the police and as per the advice from police his family kept him locked inside the house. Recently he shown improvement and he was set free. But he committed suicide by handing himself.
27 08-02-2019 Sandhya Chakraborty Mongaldoi Hindu (Bengali) NRC Name didn’t feature in the draft NRC, was suffering mental harassment and agony over the past few months
28 03-03-2019 Bhaben Das 45 Udalguri Hindu (Bengali) NRC Due to the fear of being declared a ‘foreigner’ and repeated serving of National Register of Citizens (NRC) notice – is rife in this small town


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Abdul Kalam Azad Written by:

I am a researcher and development practitioner based in Assam. I am trying to understand the conflict in Bodoland Territorial Area districts for the last few years. I am also managing the development interventions of Jhai Foundation in char areas of Assam.

One Comment

  1. Goirick
    July 4, 2019

    Very sad. Good work with the documentation.

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