The Assam government has conditionally released 10 people, including a woman, who have completed more than three years in a detention centre after being declared foreigners.
All 10 have been released from western Assam’s Goalpara centre, one of six in the State for housing people declared foreigners by any of the existing 100 Foreigners’ Tribunals. Nine are from Goalpara district and one from Chirang district under the Bodoland Territorial Council. Five are Hindus and five Muslims – all of Bengal origin.
The first four among the 10 were released on August 9 and the last was released on Monday.
The Hindu woman from Goalpara district, at 69, is the oldest, while the youngest is a 39-year-old Muslim man, also from the same district. “They were released on bail as per the Supreme Court’s order for conditional release of declared foreigners,” Special Director General of Police (Border) Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta said on Monday.
The Border Organisation is a wing of the Assam police that is tasked with detecting and deporting illegal migrants or foreigners.
Hearing a public-interest litigation on the plight of the detention camp inmates in July, the apex court had approved the State government’s proposal for the conditional release of declared foreigners who spent three or more years behind bars. The government had prepared a list of 335 out of a total of 1,145 declared foreigners.
Government officials and police have advised against publishing their names for security reasons.
Goalpara Superintendent of Police Sushanta Biswa Sarma said the police had no role in the release of the declared foreigners. “They were granted bail by the Foreigners’ Tribunals,” he said.
The conditions for releasing the 10 include payment of two sureties of ₹1 lakh each, submission of a verifiable address, and biometrics (iris scan and all 10 fingerprints). They also have to report to the police station concerned once a week.