Chandradhar Das

A 104-year-old man from south Assam’s Cachar district, who was struggling to prove his Indian citizenship for more than two years, has died.

Chandradhar Das, who was detained in 2018 after being declared a foreigner from Bangladesh, passed away on Sunday, at his Amraghat residence in Cachar district.

Das’s daughter Niyati said he was not keeping for a long time and had not been eating properly for months.

“He died at 10.30 pm on Sunday night,” she said.

The centenarian had only one wish—he wanted to die as an Indian citizen.

Das was declared a foreigner by a Foreigners Tribunal in Silchar in January 2018 and subsequently sent to Silchar Central Jail.

“It was an ex-parte order after Das failed to appear before the Tribunal,” Das’s counsel Suman Chowdhury said.

Das was unhealthy, frail, and could barely walk while he was in jail.

As his health condition started deteriorating, he was given bail after three months on humanitarian grounds.

Das was released on bail as the Foreigners Tribunal set aside the earlier ex-parte opinion and set to examine the case afresh, said Chowdhury.

Lawyer Chowdhury said Das’s claim of citizenship rested on a refugee registration certificate issued in 1966 in Tripura’s Agartala, which notes that he was born in Comilla in the then East Pakistan.

“The document is yet to be verified by the authorities in Tripura and that is why his case was pending,” East Mojo quoted Chowdhury as saying.

After the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) was passed in Parliament in December 2019, the family was hopeful that Das would finally get his Indian citizenship.

“My father’s only wish was that he wanted to die as an Indian. But it was not to be. He died at our home in Amraghat on Sunday night,” said daughter Niyati Das.

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