63,959 people declared foreigners by Foreigners Tribunals in Assam

An NRC ad in Assam

A total of 63,959 people have been declared as foreigners through ex-parte proceedings by Foreigners’ Tribunals in Assam as of February this year, minister of state for home affairs said today.

Ex-parte proceedings refer to those cases where the person does not turn up to contest the initial finding, and is therefore declared as a foreigner without being heard.

In 2018, the then junior minister for home affairs Kirej Rijiju had said that a total of 19,612 people were identified as foriegners by foreigners’ tribunals in Assam as of October 2017.

The tribunals are tasked with identifying illegal immigrants, primarily from Bangladesh, into Assam.

The BJP government in Assam also released a draft National Register of Citizens two years ago. More than four million people are estimated to have been left out of the register.

People who were left out were supposed to appeal their cases before such tribunals.

People declared foreigners by the tribunals are held at one of the six detentions centers in the state.

A total of 1,133 people are being held at the six detentions centers as of last week, the home ministry said.

Out of these, 335 people have been held in the detension center for more than three years, while 769 have been held for more than a year.

The final NRC for Assam will be published on July 31.