Assam govt constitutes special review committee for detention centres

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HT Bureau

GUWAHATI, Oct 25: Assam government has constituted a special committee to review various conditions prevailing in the detention centres which house persons declared aliens by the Foreigners Tribunals, an official release informed here Friday.

The committee headed by DIG (border) and would comprise inspector general of prisons, district and session judge Hardeep Singh (retd.), one representative to be nominated by deputy commissioner of the concerned district and any other member co-opted by the chairman, the release said.

Assam has six detention centres across the state where the Foreigners Tribunals send people prior to their deportation after declaring them as aliens while determining their citizenship. The state has 100 Foreigners Tribunals which are quasi-judicial bodies to determine citizenship or declare people as foreigners.

The committee will visit all detention centres in the state and review the legal aid status and health status of each detainee and provide recommendation for improvement if needed and also review the quality of food, hygiene and living conditions in the detention centres, the release also said.

The committee is also mandated to check the education system for the children staying in the centres and provide suggestion, it said.

The committee will conduct the review urgently and submit its consolidated report within three months, it added.

The six detention camps has 1,145 inmates. Following a Supreme Court directive to conditionally release those who had completed three years of detention, the State government set 10 of them free.

In July, state parliamentary affairs minister Chandra Mohan Patowary, on behalf of chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal, said that 25 persons declared as “illegal foreigners” by the FTs died across the six camps since 2011.

“They died after being admitted to hospitals due to illnesses,” Patowary he said, adding that the body of none of them was sent to Bangladesh, the country the FTs said they had come from.

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