GUWAHATI, Jan 17 � Stirring debates and raking up controversies apart, the issue of deportation of illegal migrants has another side to it. The case of Abdul Hakim of Sylhet district in Bangladesh and his like, whose wait for returning home has no end in sight, underscores the urgent need for revisiting the entire process of deportation.
A resident of Pachimpara Hazipur under Gopalganj Police Station, 30-year-old Abdul Hakim entered Assam through Karimganj district and was arrested by Badarpur police on January 10, 2014. Subsequently, the Court of CJM, Karimganj vide its judgement in March, 2014 sentenced him to undergo three months� imprisonment (Badarpur PS case No. 15 of 2014 and GR Case No. 43/2014 under Section 14 of Foreigners� Act).
As his conviction period ended on April 8, 2014 and no other case was pending against him, the Bangladeshi national is eager to return to his native land, but he continues to be entangled in a complicated deportation process. Hakim is in jail despite the fact that he has already been punished for his crime under the law.
Abdul Hakim has approached the Assam Human Rights Commission (AHRC) alleging that he has been illegally detained in jail since April 9, 2014. Pleading for accelerating the process of deportation, he said that apart from mental and financial sufferings to him, his detention would hit hard his old and ailing parents, as he is the only earning member of the family.
While a foreign national is also entitled to human rights according to the Indian Constitution and the Protection of Human Rights Act 1993, the case is also connected with the larger question of deportation of illegal migrants. Despite the fact that the politics and public movement in the State revolve around this issue, such cases are still not treated with the required urgency.
The AHRC, which took up the case (AHRC Case 1170/10/14-15) issued notices to Superintendent of Police (Border) Karimganj and also to Superintendent of Police (Border) Assam for the status report and action-taken report on the particular case respectively.
The Assam Tribune has certified copies of relevant documents related to the case that suggest that the person has been in detention in Central Jail, Silchar, after being transferred from the Karimganj Jail as steps taken for his deportation are moving at a snail�s pace.
His particulars have been forwarded to the State Government for confirmation of his nationality from the Bangladesh High Commission through the Ministry of External Affairs.
Ironically, the case seems just the tip of the iceberg. The Superintendent of Police (Border) has enlisted ten such convicted infiltrators from Bangladesh, currently in the detention centres awaiting repatriation in the year 2013-14 only. Six of these cases are in Karimganj district, whereas two such cases are in Dibrugarh and one each in Jorhat and Sonitpur.