10 foreigners released on bail ahead of final NRC list


Guwahati: Ahead of the publication of final NRC list in Assam, ten persons declared foreigners have been released on bail from a detention camp in Goalpara district, a police official said here Monday.

The ten have been released as per a Supreme Court direction that those declared foreigners and are under detention for more than three years should be released on bail, he said.

The ten persons, including a woman, have been granted bail by the Foreigners Tribunal for a surety bond of Rs two lakh each and their biometric details, district additional superintendent of police Amitabh Basumotary said.

Their conditional release began on August 9 and they were allowed to leave the camp which is located inside Goalpara district jail, Basumotary said.

The final National Register of Citizens list, which will identify bonafide citizens of Assam, is set to be published on August 31.

Of the ten granted bail nine are from Goalpara district and one from neighbouring Chirang district. They are aged between 39 and 69 years.

The Supreme Court, which is monitoring the updation of the NRC, had during the hearing of a PIL last month on detained foreigners had set five conditions – deposit of a bond with two sureties of Rs 1 lakh each from an Indian citizen, a verifiable address of stay after the person’s release from the detention centre and reporting once every week to the police station specified by the home and political department. The other two conditions are biometrics of the person’s iris (if possible) and fingerprints of all 10 fingers and photos.

Assam has six detention centres inside district jails in Goalpara, Kokrajhar, Tezpur, Dibrugarh, Jorhat and Silchar for persons declared foreigners by Foreigners Tribunals if they failed to prove that they or their forefathers lived in Assam before March 24, 1971 – the cut-off date as per the Assam Accord, 1985, to determine illegal foreigners.

Assam is the only state in the country where the exercise to update the citizens’ register has been undertaken after 1951 when the exercise was done for the first time.

The first draft NRC of the current updation was published in December 2017. The final draft NRC was published on July 31, 2018 in which 40,07,707 out of a total 3,29,91,384 applicants were excluded.

In June this year the number of ineligible persons rose to 41,10,169 after 1,02,462 persons were added in the list of excluded persons. (PTI)