Assam: No Money To Prove Mother's Citizenship, Daily Wage Labourer Commits Suicide
A daily wage labourer from Assam’s Baksa district, whose mother is presently fighting a case to prove her Indian citizenship, ended his life by committing suicide on September 9. Reportedly, 37-year-old Binoy Chand, overburdened with the financial pressures arising out of pursuing his mother Shanti Chand’s case at Foreigners’ Tribunal (FT), killed himself.
Why did he commit suicide?
According to the Times Of India, Binoy’s body was found hanging from a tree at his house in Dimlarpar village, about 85 kms from Guwahati. Binoy, the youngest among four brothers lived with his mother, Shanti who was labelled a “Doubtful” or “D-Voter” in Assam’s electoral rolls. A person with limited means, Binoy had reportedly spent all his money in his quest to free his mother from the problematic “D-Voter” tag.
According to NDTV, his mother had lost the case in the tribunal. However, to help his mother, Binoy wanted to take the case to the high court. Lack of finances had left the man mentally disturbed and upset. He became a father just 20 days ago. While financial expenses were also borne by the other brothers, it was Binoy who contributed the most to his mother’s fight.
Reportedly, there are 100 FTs in Assam. These are quasi-judicial bodies which are meant to decide if a person is a foreigner or not under the Foreigner’s Act of 1946. Meanwhile, the process of “D voter” began in 1997 upon the Election Commissions instructions. According to the Times Of India, there are an estimated 1.25 lakh “D” voters in the state, who are also excluded from Assam’s draft final National Registration of Citizenship (NRC) till the FTs clear their names.
The police told The Indian Express that Shanti Chand’s case was first registered at an FT in Nalbari district in 2009 but transferred to an FT in Baksa in 2016. In March 2018, she got a notice for an appearance from the FT. Reportedly, she holds a “refugee registration certificate” from 1964 and while the case has been argued, the verdict is still awaited. Moreover, the entire family had also been left of the NRC draft as well. Baksa’s SP Binoy Kalita said extreme financial constraints, aggravated by the delivery of his child 20 days ago might have led Binoy to take such an extreme step.
What is the NRC?
The final list of the National Register of Citizens was released on July 30. The final draft has excluded about 40 lakh of the 3.29 crore state population from the list. It is to be noted that the first draft was released on December 31, 2017, which had excluded 1.39 crore people.
On July 31, the Supreme Court said that the government cannot initiate any coercive action against those 40 lakh people who have been left out of the list. The Bench led by Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Rohinton Nariman said that the draft NRC does not form the basis of any action from the authorities.