GUWAHATI: A man in Assam, lodged in a detention centre for illegal immigrants, died but his family refused to receive the body. It insisted that the body be sent to Bangladesh since the authorities declared him a Bangladeshi national.
After hours of a stand-off, local leaders of an organisation broke the ice by managing to convince the family to receive the body.
The deceased – 58-year-old Basudev Biswas – was lodged at the detention centre in Central Jail, Tezpur. The police said he died on Saturday evening while he was being taken to a hospital for treatment.
When the police took the body of Biswas to his residence at Ambagan in neighbouring Nagaon district on Sunday afternoon, the family, as well as the locals, refused to receive it. They insisted that since the man was declared a Bangladeshi national, the body be sent to Bangladesh.
They stuck to their guns despite the police and government officials repeatedly requesting them to receive the body. The villagers also staged a protest for several hours and gheraoed the local police station. When the protests started to turn ugly, the police and paramilitary forces restored normalcy by resorting to lathicharge.
Late at night, the family agreed to receive the body and the last rites were performed in the wee hours of Monday. Biswas was physically-challenged and he eked out a living by running a tea stall at a local market. He is survived by his wife and two sons.
The locals said the deceased was declared a foreigner ex parte, without being heard.
“He was fighting his case in the court. One night in 2015, he was picked up by border police personnel and taken to the detention centre in Tezpur,” a local said.
Around six to seven others from Ambagan are lodged in the detention centre in Tezpur and the locals demanded they be released early, claiming that they are genuine Indian citizens.