GUWAHATI: The deportation of declared foreigners in Assam, it seems, is grossly out of sync with their detection and declaration. And this blockage in the system has led to overcrowding of inmates in the jails in the State. The situation has come to such a pass that the 31 jails in the State with a total registered capacity of 8,938 inmates have to accommodate 10,283 inmates, registering 115.04 per cent overcrowd.
The problem of overcrowding of inmates in the jails has stemmed from the fact that six of the 31 jails are used as declared foreign nationals (DFN) detention camps as well. According to sources in the Assam Prison Headquarters, at present the 31 jails of the State together have 1,345 inmates more than their total capacities. The number of DFNs languishing in the six jails in the State, on the other hand, is 1,076. The sources also said that the jails also have as many as 84 children of DFNs and other prisoners. Had these DFNs been deported on time or kept in separate detention camps, the crowd in the 31 jails could have been eased out.
According to the sources, while the Tezpur Central Jail has 371 DFNs to be deported, the Goalpara District Jail has 246 DFNs, the Jorhat Central Jail has 204 DFNs, Kokrajhar District Jail has 151, Silchar District Jail has 60 and the Dibrugarh Central Jail has 40 DFNs. As on June 30, 2019, the 31 jails in the State together have 3,079 convicts, 6,036 undertrial prisoners, 6 detenus under the NSA (National Security Act), two civil, 1,076 DFNs and 84 children of prisoners and DFNs.
Of late, the State Government has decided to set up 10 foreigner detention camps – one each at Sivasagar, Nagaon, Karimganj, Nalbari, North Lakhimpur, Haflong, Guwahati, Barpeta, Goalpara and Tezpur – in the State. However, the process in most of the proposed detention camps is still at the site selection stage.
The break-up of the 31 jails in the State is – six central jails, 22 district jails, a special jail in Nagaon, an open air jail in Jorhat and a sub-jail at Haflong.