28 Deaths So Far In Assam Detention Camps: Minister To Rajya Sabha
Twenty-eight people have died in Assam’s detention camps where suspected immigrants are confined. However, this was not due to any pressure or apprehension, Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai told the Rajya Sabha on November 27, Wednesday.
The government data revealed that 988 “foreigners” were kept in six detention centres located across the state. When BJP member Swapan Dasgupta sought to know how many of those lodged in the detention centres were religious minorities (Hindu, Parsi, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain and Christian) from Bangladesh, the minister said, “the information will be collected and sent across.”
However, Trinamul MP Santanu Sen alleged that due to lack of measures taken by the Centre to ensure better facility to the detainees, many of them died. He also claimed that the whole process of detaining the residents of Assam is synonymous with the National Register of Citizens (NRC). “Most of the people who died, they died out of apprehension,” Sen added.
To this, Rai responded that there were adequate medical facilities for the detainees. “They died because of illness. And for any illness related to the patient, there were doctors and treatment facilities made available,” Rai told Parliament.
The detention camps were set up in 2008 during the Congress rule in the Centre.
Assam has been a state under scrutiny for almost four decades now. It is the only state in India that sends ‘illegal migrants’ to detention centres. Many a time these centres have been criticised for violating human rights and forcing people to live in pathetic conditions.
According to the Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP), a human rights group, about 100 people have died because of various reasons. Some died in detention centres, others committed suicide. CJP has been tracking these deaths since 2011.