Nearly 1,000 'foreigners' are lodged in six detention centres in Assam, the Rajya Sabha was informed on Wednesday by Union Minister of State (MoS) for Home Nityanand Rai.
"As informed by the government of Assam, as on November 22, 2019, 988 foreigners were lodged in six detention centres in Assam," he said, replying to a written question, as per the PTI.
Rai said from 2016 to October 13, 2019, as many as 28 detenues have died either in the detention centres or in hospitals where they were referred.
Rai said as per the information made available by the state government, the detention centres are equipped with all basic facilities, including medical care.
"Basic facilities like food, clothing, daily newspapers, television facilities in every ward, sports facilities, performance of cultural programs, library, yoga, meditation facilities etc., are provided to the detenues in the detention centres," he said.
The minister said indoor hospital facilities with medical staff are available in every detention centre and health checkups of detenues are regularly done.
In case of complications, doctors refer detenues to the nearest civil hospitals of the districts concerned and on advice of civil hospital authorities, they are admitted to medical colleges and other health institutes, he said.
The state has six detention centres which run out of district jails and the first exclusive detention centre is under construction in Goalpara in lower Assam at cost of around Rs 460 million and a capacity to hold 3000 persons. There are 10 more such detention centres which have been proposed.
People are declared as 'foreigners' the quasi-judicial courts called Foreigners' Tribunal.
Though there is no clarification on what happens to the 19 lakh people who were excluded from the final National Register of Citizen (NRC), those whose names do not figure in the list have the option of approaching the Foreigners' Tribunals to prove their Indian citizenship or the tribunal could declare them a foreigner.
The state government has initiated establishment of 200 additional foreigners’ tribunals to deal with NRC appeals and references.
Meanwhile, the BJP is contemplating the implementation of National Register of Citizens (NRC) across the nation ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, news agency ANI reported.
The party feels that the issue will prove to be a "game-changer" and its implementation may be done as early as 2022 in the run up to the General elections.