01, Nov 2019 | CJP Team
The family of 65 Dulal Chandra Paul have finally accepted his body for performing his last rites, almost 10 days after he breathed his last at the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMHC). Paul, who had been declared foreigner and had been incarcerated at the Tezpur Detention Camp reportedly suffered from diabetes and a heart condition.
Paul, a resident of Alisinga village in Sonitpur district, had been declared foreigner in 2017. His family say he was ‘mentally unstable’ and it was wrong to declare him a foreigner.
The family refused to accept his body and perform his last rights till he was declared Indian. The body remained in the morgue for over a week! “They said he is Bangladeshi, then why should we take the body? We have all documents, how is my father Bangladeshi,” his son Ashok repeatedly asked authorities.
The family finally relented only after Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal met the family on Saturday October 19, and personally appealed to them during a meeting with members of the All Assam Bengali Youths Federation.
The family accepted the body on Tuesday October 22, at about 2 PM and cremation took place at about 8 PM. But the family’s troubles are far from over. Paul’s three sons are still out of the NRC, though his widow’s name has been included in the list.
Infact, in a cruel twist of fate, even the Gauhati High Court upheld the Foreigners’ Tribunal order declaring Paul a ‘foreigner’. The Gauhati HC order may be read here: