The death of a 65-year-old mentally unstable man who was declared a foreigner two years ago has left the Assam administration in a fix after the family refused to accept his body saying they would not take the body of a Bangladeshi.
65-year-old Dulal Paul, who was lodged in a detention camp in Assam, died at the Guwahati Medical College Hospital on October 12 after he was admitted with deteriorated health.
Dulal Paul, a resident of Alisinga village under Dhekiajuli police station in Sonitpur district had been lodged at the detention centre at Tezpur since October 11, 2017.
Following his deteriorating health, he was admitted at the Guwahati hospital on September 28. Now the family has refused to accept his body. Their argument is "how can we accept the body of a declared foreigner".
Ashok Paul, son of Dulal Paul, said: "We will only accept his body when the government declares him an Indian citizen."
"We will not accept the body a Bangladeshi man. He is my father. I urged the government to take action to remove the foreigner tag and declare him an Indian citizen."
In the final list of the Assam National Register of Citizens (NRC) that was published on August 31, all other members of the family found their names included. Over 19 lakh people's names were excluded from the final list. Among them was Dulal Paul.
Family members of Dulal Paul also claimed that they have land documents from 1965.
"Despite the documents, he was declared an illegal foreigner and put under detention. He was a mentally unstable person," a family member of Dulal Paul said.
Now, Sonitpur district Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) Kulen Sarma has said that a magisterial inquiry will be conducted in the matter.
Kulen Sarma said, "We will conduct an inquiry to examine what are the conditions of his death. If he was lodged in the detention camp what was the condition. What are the documents he had? One person, Biplab Das told me that he already had the documents of 1965. We have taken the matter very seriously. We will conduct a magisterial inquiry."
Twenty-seven people who were declared illegal foreigners by the Assam's Foreigners Tribunals and were lodged in detention centres have died in the past three years.
Assam now has six detention centres and the seventh detention centre is under construction at Matia in Goalpara district.