A retired school teacher has allegedly committed suicide in Mangaldoi district of Assam as his name did not appear in the updated draft National Register of Citizens (NRC), a senior district police official said on Monday.
Nirod Kumar Das, who used to practise as a lawyer after retirement, was found by his family members hanging in his room after he had returned from his morning walk Sunday, Superintendent of police Sreejith T. said.
In a note allegedly left behind by him, 74-year-old Das stated that he was taking the extreme step to “escape the humiliation of being marked as a foreigner after the NRC process,” his family members said.
A police official at the local police station confirmed his death by hanging.
All his family members, including wife, three daughters, their husbands and children as well as most of his relatives names were included in the NRC, they said.
Das was under distress since the exclusion of his name from the complete draft of the NRC, published on June 30 in the state, and more so when the local NRC processing centre gave him a document, about two months back, stating that his name had been put on hold as he had been marked a foreigner, his family members said.
In his note, Das blamed no one and listed five people whom he owed Rs 1,200 and asked his family to return the money to them, the family and police said.
The agitated family and local people had refused to allow police to take Das’ body for post-mortem examination Sunday demanding that action be taken against the NRC processing centre for marking him a ‘foreigner’.
They relented only after the district deputy commissioner and superintendent of police went to the lawyer’s house and assured them of a probe to find out why Das’ name was excluded and how he was marked as a ‘foreigner’.
After retirement at the end of his 34-year service as a teacher in a government school, Das had studied law and was practising as a lawyer in the district court at Mangaldoi near Kharupetia, his family said.
Meanwhile, the Bengali Students Federation has called a day-long Kharupetia bandh Monday to protest against the exclusion of Das’ name from the NRC complete draft.
Markets, shops, educational institutions, private offices and banks remained closed, while vehicles were off the roads during the bandh, officials said.