Inhumane Conditions in Assam Detention Camps, Alleges NELECC Civil Society

Some of the members of North East Linguistic and Ethnic Coordination Committee (NELECC) claimed that detained people were being kept in the "same premises" as jail inmates.

New Delhi: A Silchar-based civil society on June 29 alleged that the condition of detention camps in Assam was “inhumane” and “lacked basic amenities” even as it urged the Centre to ensure detainees were not treated like regular jail inmates.

At a press conference held here, some of the members of North East Linguistic and Ethnic Coordination Committee (NELECC) also claimed that detained people were being kept in the “same premises” as jail inmates.

“The condition of the camps is inhumane. They do not have basic amenities, and lack hygiene,” NELECC member Subhranshu Bhattacharya alleged.

“We urge the Centre to ensure that camps are separated from jail premises. Detainees should not be treated like criminals,” he said.

The Assam-based civil society also said that rumours were being floated around that the final draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam will not be released on June 30.

The member of NELECC also spoke about the issues of the NRC and said in Delhi, they have already met home minister Rajnath Singh and minister of state for external affairs General (retd.) V.K. Singh.

“In the meeting (day before yesterday), we also told the home minister about the difficulties faced by people in the detention camps,” Bhattacharya said.

Assam, which faced influx of people from Bangladesh since the early 20th century, is the only state having an NRC, first prepared in 1951.

Chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal had yesterday said that names of all “genuine Indians” would be incorporated in the list of the state’s citizens.

Sonowal had ruled out any possibility of violence after the publication of the NRC, saying adequate forces would be deployed across the state to deal with any situation.

The chief minister said the state government has provided all assistance to the NRC authorities and people too have been extending full cooperation to the entire exercise, which is being undertaken under the direct supervision of the Supreme Court.

When the NRC was first prepared in Assam way back in 1951, the state had 80 lakh citizens.

The process of identification of illegal immigrants in Assam has been debated and become a contentious issue in the state’s politics.

A six-year agitation demanding identification and deportation of illegal immigrants was launched by the AASU in 1979. It culminated with the signing of the Assam Accord on August 15, 1985, in the presence of then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.