28 died in Assam detention camps, 3 of them from B'desh

28 died in Assam detention camps, 3 of them from B'desh

Labourers work at a construction site of a detention centre for illegal immigrants at a village in Goalpara district in the northeastern state of Assam. Photo by REUTERS

Only three of the 28 people who died of various illness so far at detention camps in Assam had their addresses in Bangladesh, the state Assembly was informed on Saturday.

The state government also said it has sent a proposal to the Centre to set up more detention centres in addition to the existing six, while construction for another is going on in Goalpara district.

In reply to a query by AGP MLA Utpal Dutta, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary said a total of 28 persons have expired in the detention camps "due to illness" till November 21.

Out of them, only three persons -- Basudev Biswas, Nagen Das and Dulal Miya -- had given their addresses in Bangladesh, while the recorded addresses of the remaining 25 were different districts of Assam, he said.

In a separate query by AIUDF member Aminul Islam on the addresses where the bodies have been sent, the minister said information is being collected from the superintendents of police of different districts.

When Congress MLA Durga Bhumij asked if any compensation has been paid to the family members of the deceased, Patowary said there is no such provision.

On Wednesday, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai said in Rajya Sabha that there were no deaths of inmates in detention centres due to fear or lack of medicines and all deaths were caused by some diseases.

On behalf of Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who holds the Home portfolio, Patowary said a total of 988 people are now lodged in the six detention camps, of which 957 were declared as foreigners and 31 are their children.

Currently, 317 inmates are in Tezpur centre, 222 in Goalpara, 195 in Jorhat, 142 in Kokrajhar, 72 in Silchar and 40 in Dibrugarh, the parliamentary affairs minister said.

On the other hand, the government has released 935 foreigners from the detention camps and they include 86 people waiting for their deportation. The Supreme Court has an order that says a detainee has to be conditionally released after three years of stay in a centre, he added.

Patowary informed the House that Rs 4.74 crore has been spent on maintaining the six detention centres since the establishment of the first one in 2009-10.

The minister said 12 tea tribe people have been declared as foreigners by the Foreigners Tribunal and the state government will take steps as per the law.

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