Assam Woman Commits Suicide Ahead Of NRC List
A woman in Assam's Sonitpur district on Saturday committed suicide shortly before the state's final National Register of Citizens (NRC) list was released.
But Sonitpur Superintendent of Police Kumar Sanjit Krishna dismissed the claim, saying: "The woman was mentally ill. We were told that she jumped into the well and committed suicide. Names of all the members of the family were included in the NRC."
The final list was published on Saturday morning. Some 19,06,657 people have been excluded from the final list, which names 3,11,21,004 people as Indian citizens.
Meanwhile, Amnesty International India has appealed to the Assam government to ensure that the Foreigners Tribunals function with utmost transparency. It should function in line with the fair trial standards guaranteed under national and international laws, Akar Patel, Head of Amnesty International India, said in a statement here.
"Several reports have demonstrated how the proceedings before Foreigners Tribunals are arbitrary, while their orders are biased and discriminatory," he said.
Patel expressed deep concern over the functioning of the 100 and more Foreigners Tribunals. "Although, the Government of India is within its sovereign right to update NRC, it must ensure that it is not depriving a person of his/her nationality on arbitrary or vague grounds, by diminishing procedural due process, or if such deprivation stands to render a person stateless," he said.
According to the organisation, therewere instances of foreigners tribunals declaring citizens as irregular foreigners over clerical errors, such as minor differences in spellings of names or age in electoral rolls, or slight contradictions between answers given in cross-examinations and what is written in the documents, which it termed "appallingly common."
Patel cited media reports that alleged Assam government was applying "pressure on members to allegedly declare large numbers of people as irregular foreigners." "Assam is on the brink of a crisis which would not only lead to a loss of nationality and liberty of a large group of people but also erosion of their basic rights - severely affecting the lives of generations to come," the statement added.
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