A man, aged around 90, was found dead under mysterious circumstances in Assam’s Kamrup district on Sunday morning, three days after he attended a hearing in connection to an objection against the inclusion of his name in the final draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
While Ashrab Ali was aged 88 in 2013, according to his voter-ID card. He went missing on Saturday evening and was found dead the next morning near a school at Sontoli in Boko. He had a voter-ID card and his name was in 1971 voters’ list.
According to his relatives, Ali consumed poison because he was scared after the NRC hearing.
However, Kamrup Additional SP Sanjib Saikia said, “There was no trace of poison near the body. It does not seem to be suicide. A post-mortem was conducted and the report is awaited.”
Ali’s relative Fazlur Rehman (24) said, “His name was in the final draft of NRC published last year but someone put an objection against him and he had to attend a hearing on May 23 in Rangia (about 100 km away). After the hearing, his biometrics were taken and that scared him because some people in the village told him that biometric details are taken from suspected foreigners whom police might put in a detention camp.”
A UIDAI acknowledgement for collection of biometric data dated May 23 is with the family.
Rehman said, “He was disturbed and would ask what will happen. Last evening, he said he was going to a relative’s home and took some money, saying that he would buy food for children at the relative’s home for Iftar. But he did not go there. We suspect he purchased some poisonous substance and consumed it.”
Over 40 lakh people were excluded from the final draft of NRC published on July 30. They could appeal for their inclusion in the final NRC during the Claims round. In the Objections round, people could raise objection to inclusion of a person’s name in the draft.
Of the 40 lakh-odd people excluded from the final draft, around 36 lakh have filed claims, while objections have been received against a little over 2 lakh people among the 2.89 crore included in the final draft. The hearing process for disposing of objections made news when it was reported that almost no objector turned up, leading to allegations that the objections were fraudulent.
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