The agony of being left out of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam was shared with students of IIT Bombay on Saturday, where four of the victims or their family members talked about the pangs inflicted on them by the citizenship verification exercise.
Hasan Ali, a resident of Morigaon district, who attempted suicide after missing the draft NRC, Biki Dey, 16-year-old son of Subrata Dey, who died in a foreigner detention camp in May 2017, Gopal Das and Subrata's widow mother Anima Dey shared the dais with activists and shared their agony. Nearly 400 persons including 200 students attended the meet.
The panel discussion was organised by Ambedkar Periyar Phule Study Circle and Northeast Collective of IIT Bombay as a part of their initiative to "resist a crisis" posed in Assam by the NRC.
The panel discussion was chaired by Prof Arun Iyer and was attended by human rights activist and secretary of Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP), Teesta Setalvad, civil rights activist from Assam, Zamser Ali and doctoral scholar from the National University of Singapore, Suraj Gogoi.
"There was complete silence among students as the four victims or the victim families talked about how the NRC devastated their lives. The names of Hasan Ali and Gopal Das were earlier excluded, but after CJP’s efforts, they have now been included in the final list published on August 31. The names of Anima Dey, Subrata Dey’s family have not yet been included in the final list even though their ancestors’ names figured in the NRC 1951 and voters list of 1966," Zamsher Ali said on Monday.
Over 19.06 lakh applicants were left out of the NRC, which is being updated with March 24, 1971, as the cut-off to segregate foreigners from Indian citizens in Assam. They can now move foreigner tribunals to prove their Indian citizenship. But according to NGOs, more than 50 persons committed suicides after their names were dropped from the NRC.