IN response to a question asked for by Member of Parliament (MP) in Rajya Sabha Md Nadimul Haque, Minister of State (MoS) in the Ministry of Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju has today, February 6, 2019, made available the data pertaining to detention of individuals by Foreigners Tribunals in Assam.
MP Nadimul Haque asked the following questions in Rajya Sabha:
(a) the details of people referred to the Foreigners Tribunals during the last three years along with the reasons therefor;
(b) the details of people kept in detention camps after decision of the Foreigners Tribunals during the last three years; and
(c) the details of people released from the detention camps during the last three years along with the reasons therefor?
In response, MoS (Home) replied that as per information made available by the Government of Assam a total of 2764, 4223 and 2005 persons in the year 2016, 2017 and 2018 respectively have been referred to the Foreigners Tribunals (FTs) during last three years. MoS in his reply added that those persons were referred to the Foreigners Tribunals to ascertain whether they are Indians or Foreigners in terms of the provisions contained in the Foreigners (Tribunal) Order 1964. Thus, a total of 8992 persons have been referred to FTs in last 3 years.
Regarding the details of persons kept in Detention Centres after decision of the Foreigners Tribunals during in last 3 years, MoS (Home) informed in Rajya Sabha that a total of 236, 826 and 428 in the years 2016, 2017 and 2018 respectively kept in detention centres. Thus, a total of 1490 persons kept in detention centres in last 3 years.
Further, with regard to the details of people released from Detention Centre during last 3 years, MoS (Home) informed that a total of 111, 453 and 127 persons released from detention centre in the years 2016, 2017 and 2018 respectively. Persons were released from the Detention Centres on the basis of opinion given by the Foreigners Tribunals or Higher Courts or for repatriation to their native Country, said MoS(Home). Thus, a total of 691 persons were released from Detention Centres in last 3 years.
Pertinently, the Supreme Court on January 28, 2019 while hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by the founding member of Aman Biradari, Harsh Mander, had asked for the following information pertaining to detention centres in Assam, from both the Assam Government and the Central Government:
- The total number of detention centres and the inmates therein;
- The period for which such inmates have been lodged in the detention centres;
- Whether all the inmates in the detention centres have been declared foreigners or such inmates include persons whose references are pending before the Foreigners Tribunal;
- The number of foreigners declared by the Foreigners Tribunal in the last decade; a year-wise break-up of the figure may be given.
- Out of the declared foreigners, in how many cases repatriation was tried and the result thereof;
This matter is scheduled to be heard on February 19, 2019 by the Supreme Court.