20,000 people had been declared foreigners by the Foreigner Tribunal (FTs) in Assam till October 2017. The people who were declared foreigners were kept in detention centre’s, Union minister Kiren Rijiju said on Tuesday.
“As per the monthly report of disposal of cases in Foreigner Tribunal of Assam 19,612 D (doubtful/ disputed) voters were declared foreigners till October, 2017,” the Minister of State for Home Affairs said in Lok Sabha replying to a written question.
Rijiju said issuing notice to the D voters is a legal process and there is no question of harassing people. D voters are not detained.
“Only persons declared as foreigners by the Tribunal are kept in detention centre’s,” he said.
The Minister said as per the white paper on foreigners issue, released by Assam Government’s Home and Political Department, during revision of electoral rolls in Assam in 1997, the letter D (for doubtful/disputed) was marked against the names of those electors who could not prove their Indian citizenship status at the time of verification.
Based on the verification report, the Electoral Registration Officers (EROs) took a decision on whether a reference to the concerned tribunal was necessary to ascertain the Indian citizenship status of such electors.
Kiren Rijiju said that once ERO’s confirmed in the affirmative, such cases were forwarded to the competent authority (Superintendant of the concerned district) for reference to the concerned tribunals.
“Based on the judgements/orders of the tribunals, the letter D was either removed if Indian citizenship status was confirmed or name of the electors deleted from the electoral rolls if citizenship status as Indian could not be established in court,” he said.