A labourer in Assam’s Baksa district whose mother is fighting a case to prove her Indian citizenship committed suicide Sunday, the police said. Binay Chand, 32, was found hanging from a tree near his home in Dimlarpar village. According to relatives, Binay may have committed suicide given the financial burden of pursuing his mother Shanti Chand’s case at the Foreigners’ Tribunal (FT).
Pranay Chand, one of Binay’s elder brothers, said: “We were four brothers and he is the youngest. We are all daily-wage labourers. He did not have a child till around 20 days back while we three had several children. He stayed with our mother and took her responsibility. He probably got extremely worried because of the case of our mother.”
“We (other brothers) contributed whatever money we could but he bore the maximum responsibility because he did not have a child,” Chand added.
Baksa’s SP Binoy Kalita said extreme financial constraints could have led Binay to commit suicide. “His financial problem was majorly aggravated by the delivery of his child,” said Kalita.
The FTs — there are 100 such across the state — are quasi-judicial bodies meant to “furnish opinion on the question as to whether a person is or is not a foreigner within the meaning of Foreigner’s Act, 1946”. These tribunals get two kinds of cases: those against whom a reference has been made by the border police, or whose names in the electoral rolls have a “D (Doubtful)” against them.
The police said Shanti Chand’s case was first ‘reference’ and was registered at an FT in Nalbari district in 2009 but transferred to an FT in Baksa in 2016. She got her notice for appearance before the FT in March this year.
The lawyer representing Shanti said that she has a “refugee registration certificate” from 1964. He said the case has been argued at the FT and a judgment is awaited.
Chand said that the entire family has been left out of the final draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC).