Guwahati: A 65-year-old man lodged in one of the detention centres for illegal migrants in Assam died at the Guwahati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) on Sunday where he was admitted after “deteriorating health”. His family who had claimed that he was mentally unstable have refused to take his body until the administration declared him an Indian citizen.
The family claimed that he was wrongfully detained and since he was declared “foreigner” his body should be handed to Bangladesh. They reportedly said they will accept his body only if the government issues a statement declaring he was not a foreigner.
Dulal Paul, a resident of Alisinga village of Sonitpur district was admitted to GMCH on September 28, as per reports. He had been lodged in the detention centre in Tezpur since October 11, 2017. His family claims he was declared a foreigner despite being mentally stable.
His family members reportedly said the family has land documents dating back to 1960s and other family members made it to the final draft list of the citizen list as well but Dulal was put in detention despite being mentally unstable.
Earlier this year, State Parliamentary Affairs Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary, on behalf of Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said, as many as 25 people declared as “illegal foreigners” by the Foreigners’ Tribunal (FT), had died in such detention centres in the state in the last few years. Among the deceased include a 45-day-old infant and an 85-year-old man, as per reports.
There are six detention centres in the state housed in district jails which hold around 1000 people. Another such centre is being constructed in Goalpara district. After the Supreme Court's directive to conditionally release those who have completed three years in detention, the state government set 10 people free.
Over 19 lakh people were left out of the final citizens’ list in Assam published in August-end.