Another Muslim man ends life over NRC shame, journalist shares harrowing story from Assam


A Muslim man, believed to be in his early 90s, ended his life in Assam on the prospect of being declared a foreigner and sent to detention centre. Ashraf Ali’s body was found from a school campus, close to his hut in Sontoli in Boko, 70 kms west of Guwahati.


Journalist Rohini Mohan took to Twitter to share a heart-wrenching story of the family’s plight. In a video shared by Mohan, Ashraf Ali’s body was seen lying on the floor as his mourning family members sat around it in the light of just a candle flame.

In a series of tweets, Mohan wrote, “Reporting in #Assam on the chaos & fear arnd the govt naming ppl foreigners, we ran into this funeral. 93-yr-old Ashrab Ali frm Salausuti, Kamrup, drank pesticide yday, after his #NRC hearing, called coz someone filed an objection against his inclusion in the citizens register.”

Ashrab Ali’s name, according to the journalist, was in the NRC draft list but someone filed an objection prompting the authorities to call his entire family for a hearing on 23 May. “The objector apparently didn’t turn up, which is common in Assam today, even though 3 lakh objections were filed,” wrote Mohan.

She added, “His son said that when the #NRC official took his biometrics, Ashrab was extremely worried this meant that he has “become a foreigner”. The citizenship of his 2 sons and daughter depends on his own.”

Mohan shared a short video clip, shot by News18 journalist Abdul Kalam Azad, showed a packet of purple ‘furadan,’ a kind of pesticide, which the deceased was believed to have consumed to end his life.

In the next video shared by Mohan, the deceased’s daughter Asiya was seen wailing next to her father in the light of a candle flame.

Ali, according to Azad, was the 23rd Muslim to end his life over the issue till date since 2015 when the updation process started with most victims belonging to poor families.

“This list is not exhaustive. The list I’ve prepared is based on news reports and personal verification of incidents, mainly in Brahmaputra Valley. It doesn’t include such incidents, if any, from Barak Valley,” Hindustan Times quoted Azad.

Mohan quoted Ali’s family members as saying that the deceased ‘felt shame’ over the prospect of being declared a foreigner.

According to the tripartite accords signed in 1985 between All Assam Students’ Union, and Assam and central governments, those who registered themselves as Indian citizens in the state on or before August 24, 1971, will be considered the Indian nationals.

Muslim groups have raised concerns alleging that the move by the BJP government in the state and at the Centre was to harass Muslim population of the state to get them out of India in a bid to change the demography of the state.


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