'Release 'declared foreigners' in Assam detention camp'

Release 'declared foreigners' lodged in Assam detention camps: NGO to CJI

Representative image. (Credit: DH Photo)

Amid the Supreme Court's directive to work out modalities for releasing the prisoners on parole in view of the COVID-19 outbreak, an NGO in Assam has moved the Chief Justice of India with a plea to release the "declared foreigners" lodged in six detention camps in the state.

In a letter to the CJI, Aman Wadud of Justice and Liberty Initiative on Wednesday pleaded for a directive to the government for releasing the declared foreigners on conditions. "Being human beings they also have at least the basic right to live and to not die of COVID-19 in the precincts of a prison, which has despicable living conditions,” the NGO said.

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Stating that many of the detenues are old, Wadud said in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak, they will be more vulnerable in the already crowded detention centres.

The Centre on March 11 informed the Parliament that 802 "declared foreigners" are now lodged in six detention camps situated inside jails in Assam.

The Supreme Court, in its order on May 10, 2019, took note of the “perpetual detention” faced by these declared foreigners and directed the release of all those detained for three or more years subject to certain conditions. These persons were neither criminals nor a threat to the society, the NGO said.

Also Read: Coronavirus India update: State-wise total number of confirmed cases

It also urged the CJI to issue a directive to Assam government for not detaining any more foreigners till the coronavirus outbreak situation becomes normal.

The plea comes at a time when the Centre released the Kashmiri leaders from detention on "humanitarian grounds." 

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