Dinesh Prajapati, 45-year-old man from Tinsukia, who had been living in the detention camp since the last 15 years for being declared foreigner by a tribunal 15 years ago, is now ordered to be released from the detention camp by Gauhati High Court. Prajapati, who now gets released from the detention camp, will however, be kept on 10 years citizenship hold.
Notably, a tribunal had declared Prajapati a foreigner due to a missing paper. Dinesh and his wife Tara were arrested from a detention camp when the police had launched a drive in May this year in search of all doubtful voters and declared foreigners in account of the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
Dinesh had so long been living in the detention camp due to his inability to hire an advocate and it is only when Congress legislator Debabrata Saikia came to know about him, he was offered a legal support. Saikia said, “The chain of events involving Dinesh Prajapati has underlined that it is essential to provide legal aid to thousands of ‘declared foreigners’ and ‘doubtful voters’ so that they may get justice.”
Syed Burhanur Rahman, the lawyer of Dinesh, said, “Dinesh is a free man, but his wife, who was out on parole, has to wait for a while. The court said she has to surrender herself before the court can pass an order.” This signifies that the battle is not yet over for Dinesh as he is yet to get his wife back.
Rahman also added, “Police had referred their case as those belonging to the 1966-71 stream of immigrants. The two-judge bench did not accept Prajapati’s claim of being a member of a family based in Ballia, but directed his release from the detention camp and allowed him to register at the FRRO at Tinsukia. This will enable him to apply for citizenship after the statutory waiting period of 10 years.”