GUWAHATI: What’s in a name? Ask Assam Home and Political Department, which has recently come up with a notification to change the name of detention centres in Assam to ‘Transit camps’.
However, the purpose remains the same.
The detention centres in Assam house those declared as ‘foreigners’ by specific tribunals.
In Assam, at present, there are six detention centres in Dibrugarh, Goalpara, Jorhat, Kokrajhar, Silchar, and Tezpur. A stand-alone detention centre with a capacity to house 3,000 foreigners is under construction at Matia in Goalpara district.
The notification issued by Niral Verma, Principal Secretary, Home, and Political Department states, ‘The nomenclature of the detention centre is changed to ‘Transit Camp’ for detention purpose” In partial modification of June 2009.
The State currently has six detention centres within as many central jails at Dibrugarh, Goalpara, Jorhat, Kokrajhar, Silchar and Tezpur.
In July, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had told the state Assembly that the six centres have 181 detainees. Out of the 181, 61 are “declared foreigners” and 120 are “convicted foreigners”
Official data say 2,551 people were sent to the detention camps from December 29, 2009, to June 30, 2021, after they were declared non-citizens by various Foreigners’ Tribunals.
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