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Monday, Aug 26, 2019

Assam notifies release of foreigners who spent more than 3 years in detention centres

The Assam government’s notification came more than two and a half months after a Supreme Court order on the conditional release of those who have served three years or more in detention centres after being declared foreigners by tribunals.

india Updated: Jul 29, 2019 21:06 IST
Sadiq Naqvi
Sadiq Naqvi
Hindustan Times, Guwahati
A Foreigners’ Tribunals in  Goalpara , one of the 32  such Tribunals of Assam .
A Foreigners’ Tribunals in Goalpara , one of the 32 such Tribunals of Assam .(HT PHOTO)
         

More than 300 people who have been declared foreigners by tribunals in Assam and who have spent over three years in detention centres may be set free after the state government on Monday notified the modalities for their conditional release.

According to a notification by Assam’s Home and Political department, the conditions for their release include two sureties of Rs 1,00,000 each, a verifiable address, collection of their bio-metric information including all ten fingerprints and iris if possible and photos which shall be captured and kept in a secured database and the person must report to the police station every week.

“More than 300 declared foreigners are eligible for release after this order,” said an official of the Border Organisation of the Assam Police.

The conditions set by the state government are similar to the ones mentioned in the Supreme Court order of May 10 which ordered their conditional release hearing a PIL.

Those who violate the conditions will be apprehended and detained, the notification said.

The Assam government’s notification came more than two and a half months after a Supreme Court order for the same.

Ashutosh Agnihotri, Commissioner and Secretary, Home and Political department of Assam explaining the delay said, the state government had written to the Ministry of Home Affairs for clarity on the issue including if an amendment to the Foreigners Tribunal Order (1964) was needed to release persons in detention.

Also read: Assam seeks 10 more detention centres to hold ‘illegal foreigners’

The MHA response came last week, Agnihotri said.

While more than 1,00,000 people have been declared foreigners by the foreigners tribunals, only four have been repatriated since 2013 and more than 900 are in detention in six detention centres in overcrowded district jails.

In an affidavit to the Supreme Court earlier, the state government had listed reasons for problems in repatriation and said, “mostly such proposals (of repatriation) are pending in respect of declared foreigners, who are currently in detention camps that have refused to divulge their biographic details, particularly the country of their origin and the address in the country of their origin.

First Published: Jul 29, 2019 21:06 IST

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