GUWAHATI: A 64-year-old man in Assam, who was declared a foreigner by a Foreigners’ Tribunal (FT) and sent to a detention camp two years ago, died at a hospital but his family refused to accept the body.
The deceased, Dulal Paul, is the 26th declared foreigner to have died while in detention. His family claimed he was mentally unstable when he was arrested by the police on October 11, 2017 and sent to Tezpur detention camp.
Paul’s sons Ashish and Ashok demanded the state government issue a certified copy declaring that their father was an Indian, not a Bangladeshi, and only then, they would accept the body.
The locals on Monday staged a protest by blocking a road even as the officials of district administration tried to convince the family of the deceased to accept the body.
Paul, who hailed from Alisinga village in Dhekiajuli of Sonitpur district, died at the Guwahati Medical College and Hospital on Sunday morning. He was admitted to the hospital on September 28 as he was suffering from diabetes and a kidney-related ailment.
His family claimed that they were in possession of a land document of 1960s. However, none in the five-member family had made it to the National Register of Citizens, the final list of which was published on August 31.
“He was suffering from a mental problem but despite that, the police had lodged him at the detention camp,” Ashish said.
Top officials in Assam’s Border Police were not available for comments. The Border Police is mandated to detect suspected illegal immigrants and report to the FTs.
Assam has six detention camps which are separate cells in central jails. Till July, 1,145 people, declared foreigners, were lodged there. In August, at least a dozen of them were released on conditions.
Earlier this year, the state government had taken a decision on the conditional release of declared foreigners who have already spent at least three years in detention.