North East

Probe ordered into death of ‘Bangladeshi’ inmate in Assam

Tezpur (Assam), October 16: The Assam government has ordered a magisterial probe into the death of an inmate of a foreigners’ detention centre in Tezpur district after his son refused to accept the body till he is declared an Indian national, a senior
Dulal Paul was declared a Bangladeshi by a Foreigners’ Tribunal in 2017 and lodged at the Tezpur Jail-cum-Detention Centre, its Superintendent Mrinmay Dawka said.
Deputy Commissioner Manvendra Pratap Singh told PTI that the probe into the death of 65-year-old Paul at Gauhati Medical College and Hospital, where he was admitted to from Tezpur Prison, would be conducted by Additional DC (ADC) Parag Kakoti.
The Bengali Federation of Assam has also submitted a memorandum demanding an investigation into the death, Singh said.
Dawka said, Paul was being treated for diabetes and psychiatric ailments and was examined by doctors of the Tezpur Medical College and Hospital (TMCH) on October 11 and brought back to the detention centre the same day.
However, he fell ill the next day and was taken to TMCH. He was referred to GMCH the same day, where he died on October 13, Dawka said.
His body is still at the GMCH morgue as his only son Ashish Paul, a motor mechanic, has refused to receive the body till he is declared as an Indian national.
Sonitpur district officials led by ADC Kulen Sharma and Additional SP Numal Mahanta on Monday visited the residence of Ashish Paul urging him to receive the body which he declined, Mahanta said.
Another team of district officials again went to his house on Tuesday with the same request, Dawka said.
Meanwhile, Assam Congress Committee general secretary and spokesperson Apurba Kumar Bhattacharjya said, a team of the party led by APCC president Ripun Bora visited Alisinga village, where Dulal Paul was a resident, on Tuesday.
“The villagers said how can they receive the body if he is declared a Bangladeshi?,” Bhattacharjya said.
Claiming that “BJP had come to power in the state with the promise to protect Hindu Bengalis”, Bhattacharjya said, the villagers deplored the alleged failure of the ruling party leaders to visit Paul’s residence.
Asserting that “a sympathetic humanistic approach” was missing from the state government even after Paul’s death, the Congress leader urged Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who is also the in-charge of the Home Department, to “rise above petty politics and settle the issue”. (PTI)