POST TIME: 26 August, 2019 00:00 00 AM
Exclusion from Assam NRC
89pc suffering from mental torture: Survey

89pc suffering 
from mental 
torture: Survey

About 89% of the more than 41 lakh people excluded from Indian Assam’s National Register of Citizens (NRC) have been suffering from extreme mental torture because of the fear of being marked as a foreigner and its consequences, a survey by the National Campaign Against Torture (NCAT) has revealed. The NCAT had conducted a field survey on the mental health of the NRC-excluded in Baksa, Goalpara and Kamrup districts from July 16 to 20. The report, “Assam’s NRC: Four Million Tales of Mental Torture, Trauma and Humiliation” was released on Friday. Of the 91 respondents interviewed, 81 said they had been suffering from extreme anxiety due to the fear of deportation and of separation from family members as well as lack of money to appear before the Foreigners’ Tribunals or approach the Gauhati High Court and the Supreme Court. Nine others were found to be suffering from moderate anxiety and one from mild anxiety — all for the same reasons.

This translates into 89% of the respondents suffering from extreme anxiety, 10% from moderate and 1% from mild anxiety. This, the study said, is leading to sleep disorder, appetite loss, affecting thought process and work, and causing a feeling of shame and isolation. “If 41,10,169 persons stand excluded from the draft NRC at present, by extrapolating the survey, it can be said 36,99,152 persons are suffering from extreme anxiety and 4,11,017 from mild anxiety,” said NCAT coordinator Suhas Chakma. All the 91 respondents said they felt insulted or ashamed of being excluded from the draft NRC, 88 feared family separation, 81 feared deportation, while 55 said they were suffering from trauma and depression.