The son of a 65-year-old man in Assam who died on Sunday after almost two years at a detention centre for undocumented immigrants has asked authorities to send his body to Bangladesh if they fail to establish he is Indian, The Times of India reported on Monday.
In October 2017, Dulal Paul was declared a Bangladeshi and sent to the detention centre in Sonitpur after his land documents from 1965 were not accepted. He was admitted to the hospital on September 28 as he was suffering from multiple ailments. Paul’s family has claimed he was mentally unstable.
“Generally illegal voters from Bangladesh are entered in D-Voter List,” the undocumented immigrant’s son Ashish Paul said on Monday, according to Pune Mirror. “If he was from Bangladesh, his body should be sent there.”
Ashish Paul said the authorities had assured him of action within a week. He added that his family – Bengali Hindus from Assam –had spent nearly Rs 2 lakh in legal battles.
“I will take my father’s body home only when he is declared an Indian,” Ashish Paul added. “Now that he is dead, why is the government forcing us to accept his body? My father died as a Bangladeshi despite being an Indian and owning land here since the sixties. Let them send his body to Bangladesh.”
Dulal Paul’s family organised a sit-in in Sonitpur and blockaded a road on Monday. The five members of his family did not find their names in the National Register of Citizens, which was published on August 31, The New Indian Express reported. The final list excluded more than 19 lakh people.
In July, responding to a question raised in the state Assembly, the Assam government had released, for the first time, a list of people who died in detention. The list of 25 people included a 45-day-old child and an 85-year-old partially immobile man.
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