Hindu legal cell moves NHRC on detention camp
SILCHAR, May 14: Deeply concerned at the detention of ‘D’ voters under Foreigners’ Act of 1946 in central jail of Silchar in gross violation of human rights, Hindu Legal Cell of Assam moved the tiol Human Rights Commission for corrective and remedial measures. On the recommendation of NHRC, Assam Human Rights Commission registered a case in this respect and fixed May 17 for hearing in the Circuit House here. State government of Assam represented by Chief Secretary and the Superintendent of Silchar Jail are made the opposite parties. Dharmanda Deb, convener of Assam Hindu Legal Cell, expressed his satisfaction with the development.
Giving a background of the case, Deb, also a leading advocate, said that the state government vide its notification dated June 17, 2009 decided to set up detention camps for ‘D’ voters. By another notification in 2010, the state government set up detention camps in Silchar and Kokrajhar jails to accommodate the detainees branded as ‘D’ voters. Though decided as temporary measure, the detention camps in jails continue against all canons of tural justice. The hearing will be conducted by Barak Valley Development Commissioner.
Hindu Legal Cell is being represented by Rantankoor Bhattacharjee, vice-president of Hindu Legal Cell, Cachar district committee. To accommodate the detainees of Foreigners’ Act 1946, in addition to Silchar and Kokrajhar, there is another at Dhubri. It has been argued by the petitioner Ratnkoor Bhattacharjee that such detention is a flagrant violation of both legal and human rights and other related laws and provisions. As the detainees under Foreigners’ Act do not belong to the category of convicts and under trial prisoners, the necessity of detention camps arose.
It is inhuman also to keep the detainees branded as ‘D’ voters in detention camp along with hardcore crimils, convicts and under trial prisoners, some of them mentally retarded. Such detainees are not only compelled to live but also share rooms, beds, toilets and other facilities with crimils and convicts. Ratnkoor Bhattacharjee in his petition cited the cases of two recent detainees in Silchar Central Jail, Suchandra Goswami and Basanti Rani Das, who went through untold mental agonies and anguishes. They were at the same time victims of police flip flop and goof up. Such practice continues.
Hardcore crimils and convicts are governed by police manual which is not applicable to the detainees under Foreigners’ Act. The detention camps have been set up under the impugned Act, it has been further pleaded. The petitioner prays for immediate stoppage of such practice in the me of detention camps with orders for punishment to the authorities concerned who have indulged in gross violation of human rights.