Elderly man found dead in Assam village

Residents say deceased ‘feared NRC exclusion’ after hearing

GUWAHATI: An elderly man was found dead near his residence at Suntoli Selesuti near Boko town in Kamrup district on Sunday morning.

Police said the man, identified as Ashraw Ali, 84, was missing since Saturday evening.

“Police is carrying out an investigation. We suspect he might have died naturally, owing to old-age related ailments. The body has been sent to post mortem,” Jogendra Barman, officer in-charge of Boko police station told The Shillong Times on Sunday.

Speculation however is rife at Ali’s village that the octogenarian might have “committed suicide” fearing exclusion from the National Register of Citizens, which is scheduled for publication on July 31, 2019.

Residents said that Ali was issued a notice to attend a hearing at an NRC office in Rangia on May 23, 2019 in the wake of an objection raised against inclusion of his name in the NRC draft.

“He was questioned at the hearing and his finger prints (both hands) were taken, which made him apprehensive. After he returned home, we learnt that he was in a depressed state of mind and even stopped taking meals, fearing he might be declared a ‘foreigner’ and lodged at a detention camp,” a villager told the media.

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