227 illegal foreigners deported from Assam in 7 years

Only 227 illegal foreigners deported from Assam in over 7 years

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal. Credit: DH File Photo

Only 227 illegal immigrants, most of them from Bangladesh have been deported in nearly seven-and-half-years since 2013, Assam government said on Monday.

The number of deportations is small as the accused persons contest in the higher courts the verdicts against them after being declared illegal foreigners in the Foreigners Tribunals (FTs), state Parliamentary Affairs Minister Chandra Mohan Ptowary said. In his reply to a query by Congress MLA Rupjyoti Kurmi during the Question Hour.

At present 425 people are lodged in six detention centres across the state, he said. The state had been witness to six-year-long Assam Agitation since 1979 against illegal infiltration from Bangladesh which threatened the demography of the state. It had ended with the signing of the Assam Accord signed between the Centre and leaders of the Assam movement in 1985.

Also read: Assam government still wants 're-verification' of NRC applicants, NGO claims 80 lakh foreigners included

"A total of 227 persons have been deported from March 13, 2013, to July 31, 2020," Patowary said on behalf of the Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who also holds the home and Assam Accord implementation portfolios.

Patowary also informed the House that a total of 1,36,149 people have been declared as illegal foreigners by the FTs till July 31, 2020.

When AIUDF MLA Mamun Imdadul Haque Chawdhury sought to know the reason for such a small number of deportations against the allegation of "lakhs of foreigners", the Minister said that the FTs declare the suspected people as illegal foreigners.

"They then go to the High Court and Supreme Court against the FT verdicts. These legal procedures take a long time. Presently 100 FTs are functioning and the Centre has approved 400 more. The recruitment for 200 FTs are on," Patowary said.

Replying to a query by AGP member Prodip Hazarika, he said that most of these 227 deported illegal foreigners are from Bangladesh. On Kurmi's question about the implementation of the Assam Accord, Patowary said the BJP-led government is fully committed to carry out each clause of the pact in letter and spirit.

Not satisfied with the minister's reply, Kurmi continued to ask questions despite Speaker Hitendra Nath Goswami asking him to settle down.

As Kurmi kept up his aggressive questioning, the speaker suspended him for the rest of the Question Hour and the House Marshals took him away forcibly from his seat.

Replying to Chawdhury's question on the National Register of Citizens (NRC), Patowary said the Assam government has submitted an affidavit in Supreme Court for re-verification of 20 per cent names in districts bordering Bangladesh and 10 per cent in the rest.

When the AIUDF legislator alleged that the BJP-led government has failed to seal the India-Bangladesh border in Assam, the minister said the international border is safe now with only five km of fencing remaining. 

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox