Assam MLA claims 55 people ended their lives due to NRC-centric fear, brands Modi government as ‘murderer’

Congress MLA, Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha said the commitments by Assam’s BJP-led coalition government and Modi that the detention camps would be done away with continued to remain unfulfilled.

GUWAHATI: An Assam MLA has claimed that at least 55 people committed suicides in the state due to fear triggered by the ongoing updation of National Register of Citizens (NRC).

Congress MLA, Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha, said people belonging to linguistic and religious minority communities in Assam were being murdered by Narendra Modi’s BJP government.

“At least 55 people committed suicides ever since the process to update the NRC began. People are being compelled to commit suicides. They are killing themselves as they are being branded as foreigners and sent to detention camps for illegal immigrants despite the names of their parents or grandparents figuring on the list of 1951 NRC,” he alleged.

Stating that many of the people being harassed are from families of freedom fighters and serving defence personnel, he claimed there were several cases when people had been sent to detention camps due to clerical errors in their documents.

The NRC in Assam is being updated based on March 24, 1971 cut-off date. This means individuals, who migrated to India illegally after March 24, 1971 and settled down here, will be viewed as illegal immigrants.

“There are some cases where people died in detention camps. Genuine Indians are being harassed and killed by this government. These are planned murders. When there is an election, they (BJP) will cosy up to the Bengalis for votes. However, when the elections get over, these very Bengalis will be confined to detention camps and killed,” Purkayastha alleged.

He said the commitments by the state’s BJP-led coalition government and Modi that the detention camps would be done away with continued to remain unfulfilled.

“There were some occasions when the BJP government in the state said the detention camps would be closed down. Recently, the Supreme Court said people languishing in the detention camps for three years will be released. However, nothing has been implemented as yet,” lamented the MLA from Karimganj in southern Assam’s Barak Valley.

He said people lodged in the detention camps were not criminals but they had been forced to share cells with murderers, rapists etc. He said the detainees in Goalpara detention camps often stage hunger strikes as there are no basic amenities there.

“Ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Narendra Modi had promised that if voted to power, the BJP would shut down the detention camps. It is an irony that the BJP government is building a detention camp in Goalpara to house 3,000 people,” the MLA said.

After touring three Assam districts, rights activist Teesta Setalvad on Sunday had called for more transparency in the functioning of the quasi-judicial bodies, Foreigners’ Tribunals, when they deal with the cases of suspected foreigners.

The Tribunals determine the nationality of people suspected to be illegal immigrants by the police. Setalvad insisted that they be headed by experienced judges.

“Nobody has any problem with the updation of NRC as per the Assam Accord of 1985. However, the way the citizenship of people is being determined, it has enough room for suspicion,” she said.

The final draft NRC will be published by July 31. Over 41 lakh people have been left out of the draft.

Source: The New Indian Express