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Five Days Ahead of Final NRC Publication, 9 'Declared Foreigners' Released from Assam Camp on Conditions

The nine fenced out foreigners, including a 69-year-old woman, were languishing at the Goalpara Detention Centre inside the district jail for three years or more before their conditional release.

Karishma Hasnat | CNN-News18

Updated:August 30, 2019, 9:20 AM IST
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Five Days Ahead of Final NRC Publication, 9 'Declared Foreigners' Released from Assam Camp on Conditions
Goalpara detention camp in Assam
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Guwahati: Barely five days before the August 31 deadline for publication of National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, nine ‘declared foreigners’ have been released from the Goalpara detention camp this month, police said.

The nine fenced out foreigners, including a 69-year-old woman, were languishing at the Goalpara Detention Centre inside the district jail for three years or more. They were granted bail by a court of Foreigners’ Tribunal earlier this month.

“We do not wish to divulge their names or addresses as they have been granted bail by the FT court. There are about 16-17 declared foreigners in Goalpara detention camp of which 9 have been released,” said Sushanta Biswa Sarma, Goalpara Superintendent of Police.

The nine individuals are among the 335 ‘declared foreigners’ who have spent at least three years in detention. In July 2019, the Assam government had notified the conditional release of ‘declared foreigners’ who have spent more than three years in detention camps on condition of following the rules set as per the Supreme Court order on May 10.

The conditions include execution of bond with two sureties of Rs 1 lakh each, submission of the verifiable address of stay after release, biometric of the iris (if possible), and capturing all 10 fingerprints and photos which will be stored in a secured database before release from the camp.

Those who are released on bail have to report once every week to the police station specified and notify any change of address to the police station on the same day. A quarterly report will be submitted by the Superintendent of Police (Border) to the Home and Political Department regarding the appearance of such released declared foreigners to the police station concerned.

Official figures till July 9, 2019, show the presence of 1,145 ‘declared foreigners’ in six detention camps across Assam.

Last year, a centenarian was released on bail by the Foreigner’s Tribunal in Cachar district on humanitarian and legal grounds. Chandradhar Das, a ‘declared foreigner’ possessing a 1966 citizenship certificate had spent three months in the detention camp at Silchar Central Jail before being released.

Four years ago, two neighbors from Assam’s Udalguri district, Ashraf Ali and Kismat Ali, were declared illegal migrants from Bangladesh and sent to the detention camp in Goalpara jail. They were made to wait for more than two years to return home after the tribunal, acting on a Supreme Court order, finally set them free. Ashraf Ali hails from Bihar while Kismat’s family moved to Assam from Uttar Pradesh in the 1950s.

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