NEW DELHI: As many as 1,490 people were moved to detention centres in Assam in the last three years on the orders of the Foreigners Tribunals in the state. The tribunals sent 1,490 persons to detention centres, out of nearly 8,992 cases they received to determine citizenship, the Rajya Sabha was informed on Wednesday. Later on, 691 people were released from these detention centres.
Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said that according to information made available by the Assam government, 2,764 people were referred to the foreigners tribunals in 2016, 4,223 people in 2017 and 2,005 people in 2018. These people were referred to the foreigners tribunals to ascertain whether they were Indians or foreigners in terms of the provisions contained in the Foreigners (Tribunal) Order 1964, he said in Rajya Sabha in response to a question.
Rijiju said among those who were ordered to be kept in detention centres in last three years, 111 people in 2016 were either released on the basis of the opinion given by the tribunals or by the higher courts or repatriated to their native country, 453 people in 2017 and 127 people in 2018.
At present, there are six detention centres in Assam set up within existing jails.
On January 28, the Supreme Court sought information from the Centre and Assam government on the number of people who after being declared foreigners by the Foreigners Tribunal were repatriated in the last 10 years.
The court also sought information on whether all the inmates have been declared foreigners or they also include persons whose references are pending before the Foreigners Tribunal. The court’s order came on a PIL by a former bureaucrat turned activists Harsh Mander who had drawn the attention of the court towards the plight of inmates.
The foreigners tribunals have decided to send 236 people to detention centres in 2016, 826 people in 2017 and 428 people in 2018. According to information, 2,764 people were referred to the tribunals in 2016, 4,223 people in 2017 and 2,005 people in 2018