Last ‘D-voter’ walks out of Assam detention centre
The final ‘D-voter’ or uncertain voter has walked out of one of six detention centres in Assam, leaving about 170 extra equally marked individuals to be launched from the opposite 5.
Manindra Das was marked a ‘D-voter’ in 2015 and later declared a “foreigner” in a one-sided determination by a Foreigners’ Tribunal. He was lodged within the detention centre inside Silchar Central Jail in southern Assam’s Barak Valley.
A D-voter is a class of voters in Assam disenfranchised by the federal government allegedly for missing correct citizenship credentials.
The barely literate 67-year-old and members of his household had no clue what the successive notices despatched by the tribunal meant. He was arrested and lodged on the detention centre within the Silchar Central Jail.
“I have seen many governments come and go, voting every time since I became eligible to. Suddenly, I became a foreigner, got detained and reduced to a living corpse. I don’t blame anyone for my fate, but I hope the government lets me live a normal life, whatever is left of it,” he mentioned after his launch on Saturday.
But the ordeal of the person from Siddhipur village in Cachar district is much from over.
“He will have to do the rounds of the local police station and the tribunal periodically. But he got a respite because of the COVID-19 situation, which made the Supreme Court reduce the minimum detention period from three to two years and from two sureties of ₹1 lakh each to one of ₹5,000,” mentioned Barak Valley-based activist Kamal Chakraborty, who helped get bail for 45 Indian residents marked foreigners.
“Of the 48 people released from the Silchar detention centre over the past few months, 16 are from Dima Hasao district and the rest from Barak Valley,” Mr. Chakraborty advised The Puucho.
Satyendra Baishya, the in-charge of Silchar Central Jail mentioned the detention centre contained in the jail was now free of any D-voter. “The Foreigners’ Tribunals have not sent any declared foreigner for almost two years,” he mentioned.