Thursday, September 23, 2021
North East

Assam: Process for conditional release of ‘declared foreigners’ underway

GUWAHATI, August 12: The process for the conditional release of ‘declared foreigners’, who have spent at least three years in the detention camps in Assam, is underway.
Confirming this, the state’s Special Director General of Police (Border), Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta, said the filing of applications, collection of sureties and verification of addresses were underway.
Altogether 1,145 declared foreigners are currently lodged in the various detention camps but only 335 of them have spent more than three years in detention.
“The process will take time as it involves the examination of applications, verification of their residential addresses etc. These are being done. The process is on,” Mahanta said, adding, “The applicants have to fulfil all conditions”.
The modalities for the conditional release of eligible detainees were notified by the state government last month. The conditions include payment of two sureties of Rs.1 lakh each, submission of a verifiable address, collection of biometrics which include all ten fingerprints besides iris. Another condition is that the persons must report to the police station every week.
The first condition could act as a deterrent given that most detainees are from poor families.
Advocate Aman Wadud, who has represented many alleged foreigners in Gauhati High Court and Foreigners’ Tribunals, alleged there was no clarity on the persons’ release. He said he was helping some of the families.
Senior Gauhati High Court advocate, Hafiz Rashid Ahmed Choudhury, who is an advisor to Brahmaputra Valley Civil Society, said they were in touch with some NGOs which were helping the families of detainees.
“The NGOs have engaged some lawyers and they are helping people how to go about it,” he said, adding, “The process of the detainees’ release is likely to begin next week”.
The final draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) will be published on August 31. Over 41 lakh people were left out of the complete draft published last year. (Courtesy: TNIE)