Sunirmal Bagchi at his Silchar residence. Image credit - Northeast Now

Sunirmal Bagchi, aged 76 years, might not have even thought for a second in his wildest dreams that during the update process of National Register of Citizenship (NRC), which is going on in Assam, he would face the brunt of being called a ‘foreigner’ one day.

Sunirmal Bagchi, popularly known as Rantu Bagchi, who was born on September 21, 1943, before India attained Independence at Silchar in Assam’s Cachar district, has been served a notice on July 1 last declaring him a ‘foreigner’.

This turn of events in his lifetime came after Sunirmal Bagchi’s name was struck off when the NRC authorities published an additional exclusion list of the NRC on June 26 this year.

Also read: Assam Opp leader Saikia interacts with victims of NRC update process

The NRC authorities published two draft lists of the NRC on December 31, 2017 and July 30 2018.

Out of the 5000 odd names that are in the exclusion list of Cachar district alone (among the 1,02,000 names in Assam), the very reason to exclude such names and harass bona fide citizens of the country, is quite perplexing and raising a lot of eyebrows.

Sunirmal Bagchi, a certified electrical contractor, who submitted legacy data in his own name dating back to 1966 as well as 1971, now finds his name as a ‘declared foreigner’.

Sunirmal Bagchi at his Silchar residence. Image credit – Northeast Now
Sunirmal Bagchi at his Silchar residence. Image credit – Northeast Now

“Both of my sons – Samrat Bagchi, and Subharaj Bagchi – are genuine citizens of this country even after using my legacy data,” said Sunirmal Bagchi sarcastically while talking to Northeast Now at his residence on Wednesday.

Bagchi, indeed had a worried look, but at a crucial juncture of his life, didn’t shy away to share his pangs and agony after being served a notice of being a foreigner, two days back.

Also read: Army Veteran Sanaullah, who was arrested after being declared ‘foreigner’, gets bail

“You see, I was born in Silchar and I did my schooling from this place itself before taking up the task of being a contractor. I am really surprised and still baffled as to why my name has come, declaring that I am not an Indian. I have voted during this general election of 2019 and have names of my entire family including me in both the draft NRC lists published earlier,” said Bagchi.

Also read: Over 60000 persons declared foreigners since 1985 in Assam: G S Reddy

His sons visited the office of the Superintendent of Police (SP) on Wednesday to check the details of any case registered against him.

However, not finding any, which is not surprising, efforts are on to get a certified copy or rather a testament to prove that indeed no case has been registered against Sunirmal Bagchi at any border police posts, at any point in time.

Though having a birth certificate that dates back before Independence, Sunirmal Bagchi will have to visit along with his family members at Kumbha’s panchayat office on July 5 next to attend a ‘hearing’.

What transpires and what are the reasons for him to be declared a foreigner, would be a thing to watch out for.


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