About 89% of the more than 41 lakh people excluded from 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.
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