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Assam is scheduled to deport seven Myanmarese nationals lodged in a detention camp at Silchar in Cachar district on October 4, sources said on Thursday.
“Seven Myanmarese nationals lodged in Silchar will be deported on October 4. The travel permits have come. The deportation will take place via Moreh [a border town] in Manipur,” a senior official of the home and political department of the state told The Indian Express.
Administrative officials and police in Cachar district said the seven are Rohingya Muslims who escaped persecution in Myanmar, but the official quoted above did not confirm this. The official added that two Myanmarese nationals were deported from Assam a few months ago.
The official added that there are 32 illegal Myanmar nationals in Assam’s detention camps. These seven, he said, were judicially convicted and have completed their terms.
Of the existing 900-odd inmates in the six detention camps in the state, most are individuals who were “declared foreigners” at the 100 Foreigners Tribunals in Assam. But there are also a few who accept that they are foreigners and have an address in their native country, but are convicted of overstaying illegally or of committing some offences or of violation of Passport (Entry into India) Act. According to government data, as of February 2018, 172 out of 899 detainees in these camps were “convicted” and the rest “declared”.
An official at Silchar Central Jail, where the detention camp is housed, said the seven have been there for over five years now.
Another senior official of the home and political department said, “It is not for us to ascertain specifically which community in Myanmar the earlier two persons belonged or the seven to be deported now belong. For us, they are illegal foreigners about whom we communicated to the respective country. Myanmar has accepted them and sent the travel permits.”
A senior Assam police officer said that whenever a foreigner is arrested for illegally staying or on other charges and their term in jail is over, the government concerned is alerted through the Ministry of External Affairs.