GUWAHATI, Oct 17 - Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has said the Ministry of Home Affairs amended the Passport (Entry into India) Rules, 1950 and Foreigners� Order 1948 in a haste leaving many sensitive and vital issues unresolved, thus further compounding the vexed foreigners� problem in Assam.
In a statement here today, the Chief Minister said though the Government of India had amended the Passport (Entry into India) Rules, 1950 and the Foreigners� Order 1948 through a notification on September 7, 2015 by exempting persons belonging to minority communities in Bangladesh or Pakistan who have been compelled to seek shelter in India due to religious persecution or fear of religious persecution and entered India on or before December 31, 2014, it did not mention specifically their acquiring Indian citizenship.
�The amendments have sought to provide relaxation for certain class of foreigners and for their stay in India. It did not mention anything about their acquiring Indian citizenship. It is not clear what kind of link is there, if any, with the Citizenship Act, 1955, particularly Section 6-A of the Citizenship Act pertaining to citizenship of persons covered by the Assam Accord and the Citizenship Rule, 2003, the Foreigners� Tribunal Order 1964 and Foreigners� Tribunal for Assam Order 2006,� Gogoi said.
Gogoi said the notification did not address certain vital issues concerning foreigners who entered India before December 31, 2014 and have been detected as foreigners by the Foreigners� Tribunals and lodged in detention centres or are absconding. Seeking clarification on a number of important points from the MHA, Gogoi said, �In view of the amendments exempting specified categories of persons from the Foreigners� Order 1946, what will be the status of the cases registered against such specified categories of persons in different Foreigners� Tribunals of Assam?�
He questioned the status of the persons belonging to the specified categories exempted by the Government of India�s latest notification who have been declared foreigners by the Foreigners� Tribunals and kept in the detention centres. �If the persons of specified categories as exempted by the MHA notification and are currently lodged in detention centres have to be released, then what process will have to be adopted? The notification is vague on this,� he added.
Currently there are 191 persons belonging to the specified exempted category lodged in the detention centres across the State.
Gogoi further pointed out that the amendment notification did not say anything on the status of the specified exempted category of persons who have been absconding after being declared foreigners by the Tribunals. �The moot question is what will be the status of these persons who are absconding after declared foreigners by the tribunals? Will the police not go in for search and apprehension of the persons as is being usually done?� he said.