GUWAHATI: A man in Assam, declared a “foreigner” and sent to a detention camp, died at the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) in Guwahati.
According to official sources, the detainee, Naresh Koch, was admitted to the GMCH ten days ago after he had fallen sick at the Goalpara detention camp. He died on Friday night.
The man in his fifties, who hailed from Mornoi in Goalpara district, was declared a foreigner by a foreigners’ tribunal and sent to the detention camp in March 2018.
Congress' reaction to Koch’s death
“Often the poor and marginalised bear the brunt when they are forced to showcase documents to the satisfaction of the administration. It doesn’t matter which religion you belong to,” Congress MP, Gaurav Gogoi, tweeted.
Koch is the 29th person to have died during incarceration at a detention camp in Assam.
An estimated over 1100 people are lodged in the detention camps in Assam. Ahead of the publication of the final list of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) on August 31 last year, around 20 declared foreigners were released after the state’s BJP-led coalition government had taken a decision on the conditional release of declared foreigners who have spent at least three years in detention.
They were among 335 declared foreigners who had spent three years in detention.
The conditions for release include payment of two sureties of Rs.1 lakh each, submission of a verifiable address, collection of biometrics which includes all ten fingerprints besides the iris.
Another condition is that the persons must report to the police station every week.
Assam has six detention centres which are separate cells in the district jails. The seventh, which will house only declared foreigners, is coming up in Goalpara. The detainees at the existing detention camps are treated on a par with criminals. The same jail manual is followed for them.