Assam: All ‘Declared Foreigners’ Shifted To State’s Largest Detention Centre

All the persons identified as declared foreigners in Assam were shifted to the Goalpara district’s Matia transit camp, the largest detention centre in the state, reported PTI on Monday.

The Matia facility is used to hold persons identified as foreigners and awaiting deportation or repatriation, or persons waiting for their citizenship claims to be settled. Many of the detainees claim to be Indian citizens who were locked up because they were held as suspects by Assam’s foreigner detection mechanisms or could not furnish adequate documents to prove their citizenship.

The detention centres are now called transit camps, according to a state government notification.

The last batch of 87 detainees from Silchar detention centre was taken to the Matia transit camp, Assam Inspector General of Prisons Pubali Gohain told PTI. With this all the transfer process has been completed and the six detention centres in Assam will no longer exist, Gohain said.

The six detention centres were located inside the district jails of Goalpara, Kokrajhar, Tezpur, Jorhat, Dibrugarh and Silchar.

The process of shifting those declared foreigners had begun on January 27 with the transfer of 68 detainees from the Goalpara detention centre. There are 217 declared foreigners at the new Matia transit camp, Goalpara Deputy Commissioner Khanindra Choudhury told PTI.

“This figure changes very frequently with court verdicts and the deportation of foreigners,” he told the news agency. “Just three days ago, three Bangladeshis were sent back to their country from the Matia camp.”

Back in 2021, the Supreme Court of India had issued a notice to Assam state coordinator for deleting names from the final NRC list.

If you’re curious to delve deeper into the topic, read more about it here.

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