181 lodged in six detention centres in Assam

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Guwahati, Jul 19 (PTI) Al least 181 people are currently lodged in six detention centres for 'declared' or convicted foreigners in Assam, and 29 detainees have so far died due to various causes since 2009, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma informed the assembly on Monday.

Of the 181 detenues, 61 are 'declared' foreigners and 120 are convicted by courts and they will be deported after completion of their sentence period, Sarma said in reply to a question by Congress legislator Sherman Ali Ahmed.

Nine convicted women foreigners along with 22 children are currently lodged at Kokrajhar, Silchar and Tezpur detention centres, he said.

Of the 22 children, 20 are below 14 years of age.

Among the six detention centres, there are 41 detenues in Goalpara, 11 in Kokrajhar, 49 in Silchar, 13 in Dibrugarh, 22 in Jorhat and 45 in Tezpur.

Replying to another question by AIUDF legislator Nazrul Hoque, the chief minister said that 29 detainees have so far died due to various causes in the detention centres.

The first inmate was Krishna Biswas who was kept at the Goalpara detention centre on December 23, 2009, and since then, 2,551 detenues have been lodged in the six facilities till June 30, 2021, Sarma said.

In 2009, the Assam government had notified detention centres to keep the 'declared' foreigners till their deportation to their places of origin.

The state government had temporarily notified jails of the six districts as detention centres till separate facilities were established for the purpose.

Altogether, 273 'declared' foreign nationals were released after completion of three years in detention in compliance with a Supreme Court order of 2019.

As many as 481 were released after completion of two years of detention, as per another order of the apex court in April 2020.

Altogether, 1,36,173 cases are pending in Foreigners' Tribunals, while 2,98,471 cases have been disposed of so far, the chief minister said.

The Foreigners Tribunals have declared 1,39,900 people as 'foreigners' while 1,186,16 were acknowledged as Indians so far, he said.

The state government has so far repatriated 321 foreigners, he added. PTI DG BDC BDC

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