Assam: Over 1.58L cases of 'illegal migrants' pending

Photo for representation.
Not just the update of the National Register of Citizens (NRC), foreigner tribunals in Assam are scrutinising documents of more than 1.58 lakh suspected illegal migrants, whose cases are pending for years.
According to documents tabled in Assam Assembly on Saturday, a total of 1,58,558 cases filed against suspected illegal migrants are pending in foreigner tribunals, most of which were from districts having sizeable Muslim and Bengali Hindu population.
Replying to questions by Aminul Islam, MLA of opposition All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), the state home department informed the Assembly that cases against 1,13,738 D (doubtful) voters were also pending at present.
These people, against whom cases are still pending in the tribunals were not allowed to apply for NRC update and can do so only after they are declared as Indians. 
"Before any reference (case) is made to the Foreigner Tribunals, border police initiates an enquiry and if the reasonable ground is found, refers the cases to the tribunals as per provision of law and rules. The onus of proof for the genuineness of the documents lies with the persons suspected. Police job is not to establish the case beyond reasonable doubt as is the case in respect of IPC cases," the department said while replying to another query by another AIUDF MLA, Aminul Islam.
The department also informed that 1, 31, 459 cases were contested in high court till May 31 this year after the suspects were declared as foreigners by the tribunals. 
With 23, 410 cases Barpeta district topped the list of pending cases followed by Udalguri (15,885), Sonitpur (15,397), Dhubri (13,893), Nagaon (12,338), Guwahati city (10,102) and Morigaon (7,385).
28 deaths in detention centres: 
The home department also informed the Assembly that 28 persons, who were declared foreigners by tribunals of high court died in six detention centres situated inside jails. These included 13 in Goalpara, nine in Tezpur, three in Silchar, two in Kokrajhar and one in Jorhat detention camps. IIlness was cited as the reason for their deaths. 
Family members of several such victims, however, alleged that ill-treatment and lack of proper medical services inside the detention camps caused such deaths.
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