GUWAHATI: Following the nod by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the Assam government is preparing to issue the notification for the release of those foreign detainees who have spent more than three years in various detention centres across the State. The release, of course, would be subject to those detainees fulfilling certain set conditions. The move has been taken after the Supreme Court issued directives to the Assam government to release foreigners spending three years or more in the State detention camps in case they fulfill certain conditions.
While following the directive, the Home and Political Department had sought views from the State Law department over release of détentes according to the Supreme Court’s directive. After getting the Law department’s views, the Home and Political department took up the issue with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to take the final step. The Home Ministry recently asked the Assam government to issue the notification to act on the SC directive.
The notification comprises the details as how to apply, the conditions of release and other criteria for the declared foreigners to legally get out of the detention camps.
According to sources, there is a likelihood of over 300 ‘Declared Foreigners’ and ‘Convicted Foreigners’ detained in these detention camps. Till January 31, 2019, there were 938 detainees at six detention camps. The detention camps are situated at the districts jails of Goalpara and Kokrajhar and the central jails in Silchar, Dibrugarh, Jorhat and Tezpur.
Earlier, Dispur had filed an affidavit with the Supreme Court stating its position that foreigners living for more than five years in the State detention camps can be released against certain conditions. However, the Supreme Court refused to accept that stand, and on May 10 the apex court said that the detenues who were declared foreigners by Tribunals and kept in detention camps in Assam for more than three years may be released.
The bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna, however, said that their release would be on the following conditions. These include execution of bond with two sureties of Rs 1,00,000 each of Indian citizens; a specific verifiable address of stay after release; biometric of his or her iris (if possible) and all ten fingerprints and photos shall be captured and stored in a secured database before release from the detention centres.
The court further stated that he or she (released ‘declared foreigner’) shall report once every week to the police station specified by the Foreigners Tribunal (FT); he or she shall notify any change of his or her address to the specified Police Station on the same day; and a quarterly report has to be submitted by the Superintendent of Police (Border) to the FT regarding appearance of such released declared foreigner to the Police Station concerned and in case of violation of condition, the detained foreigner detained foreign national will be apprehended and produced before the Foreigners Tribunal.