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 NoDate of Committing SuicideNameAgeAddressIdentityCategoryBrief Note
1Jul-15Angat Sutradhar57Pakoriguri village under Salbari Police in BAKSA districtHindu (Assamese)NRCDue to complexity of the NRC process,
201-07-2015Saibun Nesa Laskar45Sonai, CacharMuslim (Bengali)NRCShe failed to gather the legacy data. The fear of getting excluded from NRC and deported torn her apart and committed suicide
3Nov-15Jamir Khan75Tikak China Basti under Ledo Police Station in Tinsukia districtMuslimNRC/D VoterHe was a D voter and in the fear of getting excluded from NRC, he hanged himself
406-09-2016Aklima Bewa62Dankinamari, Majgaon, BongaigaonMuslimReference CaseHer daughter was indicted as suspected foreigner by Border Police.
501-12-2017Anowar HussainElderlyBahmura, GoalparaMuslimNRCHis daughter got a notice for verification and panicked. The poor man who works in an eaterly got panicked and consumed poison and killed himself
603-12-2017Akram Uddin BarbhuyanElderlyNew Ramnagar, SilcharMuslim (Bengali)NRCHe failed to provide sufficient document during the NRC verification process which made him worried and hanged himself to death
701-01-2018Hanif Khan40Kashipur (Part-II), Cachar, SilcharMuslim (Bengali)NRCHanif 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
819-03-2018Bijit Sen60Silchar, Near National High WayHindu (Bengali)NRCThough Sen’s name figured in the first draft of the NRC, his wife name didn’t and that made depressed and committed suicide
923-03-2018Lalson AliShatagaon, BarpetaMuslimD VoterDespite having legacy data and other documents he was marked as D voter, due to fear of detention he committed suicide
1009-04-2018Ratan Rai40Pandu, GuwahatiHindu (Bengali)NRCRatan 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
1110-04-2018Sahimoon Bibi45Near Dibyapara Railway Station, DhubriMuslim (Bihari)NRCShe 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.
1211-06-2018Gopal Das65Nislamari, Tangla, UdalguriHindu (Bengali)Reference CaseHis 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
13Jul-18Balijan Bibi45Jogighopa, BongaigaonMuslimDetainee/D VoterShe 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.
14Jul-18Abola Roy40Halakura, DhubriHinduD VoterHis was served D voters notice. He first tried to kill his wife and then kill himself
1507-07-2018Khorgo Bahadur Gurung57Sadia, TinisukiaNepaliNRCEntire family excluded from NRC

(Asomiya Pratidin 10th August)

1607-08-2018Deben Barman71DhubriHinduNRCThe 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.
1708-08-2018Rajesh Singh44Nakhuti Village (part II), near Dashiri Tea Estate, Majbat, UdalguriHindu (Hindi Speaking)NRC/DetentionSingh’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.
1808-09-2018Binay Chanda32Tamulpur, BaksaHinduNRCExcluded from NRC and his mother’s D voter case is pending in tribunal
1914-10-2018Bimal Chandra Ghosh59Karimchowk, Mangaldoi, DarrangHinduNRCRetired teachers, worked in NRC but his name didn’t appear
2020-10-2018Nirod Baran Roy74KharupetiaHinduNRC74-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.
2128-10-2018Deepak Debnath49Gagra Village in UdalguriHindu (Bengali)NRCThe 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.
2211-11-2018Abdul Jalil35AbhayapuriMuslimNRCAs 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.
2314-11-2018Samsul Haque45BarpetaMuslimNRCHis 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.
2419-11-2018Surendra Barman

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

27Srirampur, Gossaigaon, KokrajharHindu (Rajbonshi)Reference Case/NRCTwo 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.
2520-11-2018Monnas Ali

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

65Sonitpur ThelamaraMuslimNRCHis family got eroded several times and got economically weakened. All his family members name included in the NRC but his name was missing
2616-12-2018Kailash Tanti50Sontila Tea Estate, HailakandiAdivasiNRCKailash 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.
2708-02-2019Sandhya ChakrabortyMongaldoiHindu (Bengali)NRCName didn’t feature in the draft NRC, was suffering mental harassment and agony over the past few months
2803-03-2019Bhaben Das45UdalguriHindu (Bengali)NRCDue 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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