GUWAHATI, Sept 25 - The signing of the Assam Accord in 1985 did not expedite the process of detection and deportation of foreign nationals from Assam as only around 75,000 persons have been declared as foreigners by the Tribunals set up under the provisions of the Foreigners� Act and only a handful of the declared foreigners could be deported.
Around one thousand persons declared as foreigners are living in the detention camps, while, the whereabouts of majority of the foreigners are not known. Though district wise task forces were created by the police early this year following an order by the State Chief Secretary to detect the declared foreigners who are missing, but in most places, the task forces are now almost defunct. According to information available, the task forces set up in all the districts, started off with enthusiasm , but of late, those are almost non functional.
The district wise list of the persons declared as foreigners make interesting reading as the numbers in the districts bordering Bangladesh is comparatively much lower and the figures are relatively higher in districts in central part of the State. In fact, Morigaon topped the list as more than 13 thousand persons have been declared as foreigners by the Tribunals in the district. It may be mentioned here that five Tribunals are functioning in the district. Similarly, the figures are much higher in Sivasagar and Dibrugarh districts, which are far off from the international border. According to records available, more than six thousand persons have been declared as foreigners by Tribunals in Sivasagar district, while, the figure in Dibrugarh is almost the same.
Interestingly, the figures are comparatively lower in the districts having international border with Bangladesh or located closer to the border. For example, Dhubri district has long international border with Bangladesh including more than 60 kilometers of riverine bborder, which is considered most vulnerable to infiltration and smuggling. But since the time of signing of the Assam Accord, less than three thousand persons have been declared as foreigners by the Tribunals operating in the district.
Same is the case in Karimganj district, which also has unfenced and vulnerable international border with Bangladesh. According to records available, around 2600 persons have been declared as foreigners by the Tribunals in the district, while, the figure is much higher in Cachar, which does not have an international border as long as in Karimganj and Dhubri. More than seven thousand persons have been declared as foreigners in Cachar district.
Since the time of signing of the Assam Accord to last year, more than 4.61 lakh cases were referred to the Tribunals and around 2.60 lakh were disposed off. At present, 100 Tribunals are functioning in the State and steps have been initiated to set up 200 new Tribunals immediately as it is expected that majority of the 19 lakh people left out of the National Register of Citizens will appeal before the Tribunals.