Wednesday, November 18, 2009

How serious and sincere is Gogoi?

Detention camps for B’deshis
By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Nov 18: Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi was on record telling the people of the State that the State Government would set up at least two detention camps for detected illegal Bangladeshis before their deportation to their native country — one at Mankachar in Dhubri district and the other at Mahisashan in Karimganj district — along the India-Bangladesh border. Gogoi had even said that if it took more time to get suitable land to set up such detention camps, buildings would be taken on rent for the purpose. Assam Accord Implementation Minister Dr Bhumidhar Barman had also informed the State Assembly that detention camps for keeping immigrants would come up at Mankachar and Mahisashan. The ground reality at Mankachar and Mahisashan, however, is that not even preliminary works for setting up such camps have been started.

When The Sentinel contacted the authorities concerned in Dhubri and Karimganj on the process of setting up detention camps for foreigners, they said no work has been done towards that end as yet. According to the authorities concerned in Karimganj district, there was a search for a suitable building on rent for the purpose, but to no avail. So far no suitable building has been found, nor is there any process for constructing a building for the purpose by the Government on its own. The situation in Mankachar is no different.
The authorities concerned have also failed to place all details on the process of setting up detention camps for detected foreigners before the State Government, sources said.

The Gauhati High Court has been putting pressure on the State Government for taking adequate steps to prevent detected foreigners from doing the vanishing act, and it recently asked the State Government to deport as many as eight illegal Bangladeshis to their native country.

Many observers of the illegal Bangladeshi immigration scenario are now questioning the very sincerity on the part of the Tarun Gogoi Government as far as the much-vaunted setting up of detention camps for detected foreigners is concerned. The Gogoi government, according to sources, only makes some announcements when there is pressure on that front from the public and the High Court, but practically does nothing.

According to sources, as many as 19,304 people who were detected as foreigners by the Foreigners Tribunals in the State did the vanishing act till October 2008, while as many as 11,299 such people who were declared foreigners under the IM(DT) Act did the vanishing act till 2005. THE SENTINEL

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