Wednesday, February 8, 2023
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938 people detained in 6 detention centres in Assam, 823 declared foreigners, Centre tells SC

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The Centre on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that 938 people are detained in six detention centres in Assam and 823 of them have been declared as foreigners by tribunals. The Centre was responding to the January 28 queries of the apex court which had asked the Centre and the state to provide details of functional detention centres in Assam and the foreigners detained in them during the last 10 years.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi was told by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that both the Centre and the state have filed their affidavits providing details sought by the apex court.

The Centre said over 27,000 foreigners have been pushed back at border points while attempting to enter India illegally. Solicitor General told the bench, also comprising Justices L N Rao and Sanjiv Khanna, that the Centre has allotted Rs 47 crore and Assam has provided land for building a new detention centre with various facilities, keeping in mind issues covering human rights.

He said the new detention centre will be ready by August 31. However, when Mehta was making his submissions the bench showered him with several questions. It also said that tribunal has declared only 52,000 as foreigners and the Centre has deported only 162.

“How can people have confidence in Assam government?” the bench said. The bench also referred to the issue of NRC carried by the Assam government and said that only 40 lakh people were not included in it.

It asked does this mean they are foreigners. The apex court further said that the problem of illegal migrants in Assam has been there for the last 50 years. Why no steps taken to deport or repatriate them.

Mehta said that all illegal migrants have to go and he would take instructions how to expedite repatriation. The apex court also sought to know condition of detention centres saying PIL alleges sub-human conditions there. Hearing will continue after lunch.

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