Woman detainee dies in Kokrajhar
A 60-year-old woman, lodged in a detention centre in lower Assam’s Kokrajhar district since 2018, died of cancer on Sunday, taking the total number of deaths in the state’s detention centres to 30 since 2016.
A doctor at RNB civil hospital, Kokrajhar, confirmed the death on Tuesday. He said the woman was suffering from gall bladder cancer for a long time and was admitted to hospital on March 22. The body was sent for post-mortem to Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed Medical College and Hospital, Barpeta, on Monday, he added.
A senior police official in Kokrajhar identified the deceased as Rabeda Begum and said she hailed from Dima Hasao district.
Dasarath Das, inspector-general of prisons, however, told The Telegraph that Rabeda Begum hailed from Krishnanagar in Hojai district and had been undergoing treatment for cancer and other ailments since long.
“She underwent treatment at B. Barooah Cancer Institute in Guwahati and Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed Medical College and Hospital in Barpeta before her death at the Kokrajhar civil hospital,” he added.
The body of Rabeda Begum, who was sent to the detention centre in February 2018 after being declared an illegal foreigner by a tribunal, has been taken to her village for burial, Das said.
Islam Uddin, 30, grandson of the deceased, received the body from Langting police of Dima Hasao at Lumding in Hojai on Tuesday. Islam, a daily wage earner, told this correspondent that his mother, Mina Begum, “was also detained in the same detention camp and his three brothers and one sister have been left out from NRC”.
“However, all my uncles have been included in the NRC list. We are too poor to challenge the foreigners tribunal’s order in high court or the Supreme Court,” he added.
Rabeda Begum’s is the second detention death in Assam in 2020. Naresh Koch, 50, lodged in Goalpara detention centre, had died in January. Koch, a daily wager from Tinkoniapara village, was taken to the centre in March 2018.
All the detention camps in Assam are housed within district jails but the detainees are kept separately from other inmates.
Amnesty for release
Amnesty International on Tuesday asked the state government to release the inmates of all the six detention centres immediately in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.