Assam to release declared foreigners on five conditions

Assam government on Tuesday announced five conditions for the release of declared foreigners, who completed more than three years in detention centres inside district jails. (PTI Photo)

Assam government on Tuesday announced five conditions for the release of declared foreigners, who completed more than three years in detention centres inside district jails.

Violation of any of the five conditions, however, would prompt the administration to apprehend the released persons and put them again in the detention centre.

This comes a day after the state government informed the state Assembly that out of the 1,145 declared foreigners presently lodged in six detention centres, 335 had already spent more than three years. 

The home and political department issued a fresh notification on Tuesday weeks after the Supreme Court approved the state government's proposal for the conditional release of the declared foreigners.

The first condition called for a deposit of a bond with two sureties of Rs One lakh each by Indian citizens. This, many said could be a dampener as most of the declared foreigners belong to the poor economic background.

The person to be released must also provide a verifiable address of stay after his or release from the detention centre. "Biometrics of his/her iris (if possible) and all 10 fingerprints and photos shall be captured and stored in a secured database before releasing from the detention centre. He/she shall report once every week to the police station specified by the home and political department. He or she shall notify any change in address to the specified police station on the same day," said the notification. 

The fifth condition said a quarterly report must be submitted by the superintendent of police (border) to the home and political department regarding the appearance of such released declared foreigners to the concerned police station as specified by the department.

Will the NRC drop-outs be released? 

No. Those who miss the final NRC to be published on August 31 this year, will have to approach the Foreigner Tribunals to challenge the omission of their names. If they fail to prove their citizenship as per the cut-off, they will be declared foreigners, detained and put into the detention centre. However, their family would be able to challenge the tribunal's order in Gauhati high court and the Supreme Court. There are 100 such tribunals at present and Assam government has submitted a proposal to the Centre to increase it to 1,000 for speedy disposal of the cases after the publication of the final NRC.

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