Demand raised in RS for legal services for people in Assam detention centres

CAA, Citizenship (Amendment) Act, NPR, National Population Register, Rajya Sabha, adjourned
The Rajya Sabha proceedings had to be adjourned by Chairman Venkaiah Naidu for the second time in a row since there was chaos in the House. File photo: PTI

A demand to provide legal services including bail provision to those persons who claim to be Indians but have been lodged in detention centres in Assam citing provision of residency proof for more than three years was made in Rajya Sabha on Friday (November 29).

Raising the issue through a Zero Hour mention, Jairam Ramesh of the Congress said there are six detention centres in Assam holding 998 foreigners. At one of the detention centres in Silchar, there are 72 foreigners including 7 Myanmarese, 17 Bangladeshis and 48 who claim to be Indians, he said.

While Bangladesh has refused to recognise the 17 Bangladeshis, many out of the 48 who claim to have Indian citizenship are those who have been state government employees and have been lodged in the detention centre for 6-7 years.

Ramesh said during his visit to the Silchar detention centre that he met a woman who has been in the detention centre for 10 years and has a nine-and-half-year old daughter who has lived all her life in the detention centre.


Also read: Citizenship Bill to give Indian nationality to minorities from Pak, B’desh, Af: Govt

He said the law provides for bail on furnishing of personal surety to those lodged in jail for more than three years and the same provision should be extended to those claiming to be Indian but lodged in detention centres for want of proper residency documents.

“I am not pleading case of illegal migrants. I am pleading case of those are claiming to be Indian citizens,” he said. “This is a humanitarian issue and not political,” he said.

Several opposition members associated with the cause raised by Ramesh in his three-minute Zero Hour mention. BJP’s Vijay Goel raised the issue of parking space constraint in the national capital, saying lack of adequate public transport and last mile connectivity had led people to flood the roads with private cars, resulting in parking chaos.

“Half of the disputes will be over car parking,” he said, citing rising cases of parking rage as citizens fight over vehicles wrongly parked or infront of their premises. He wanted civic body authorities to jointly undertake studies on the parking problem in the national capital.

Also read: Final NRC list: No Aadhaar for those who can’t prove citizenship

Tiruchi Siva (DMK) raised the issue of some disabled persons being denied jobs in Indian Railway despite clearing entry exam.

Raising the issue of Andhra Pradesh’s new government led by the YSR-Congress stopping construction work for building a new state capital at Amravati, Kanaka Medala Ravindra Kumar (TDP) said 28,000 farmers in 29 villages have voluntarily given 33,000 acres of land for building a new capital of the state.

The foundation of the new capital was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in October 2015 and central government released ₹1,500 crore for the capital city, he said, adding the new government in the state has stopped all work for building the new capital.

He wanted the central government to issue an advisory to the state government to resume work on the new state capital project. While Shwait Malik (BJP) demanded work on the Amritsar-Ferozpur railway line be expedited so as to provide a shorter rail route to Mumbai and other neighbouring states, Nazir Ahmad Laway (PDP) wanted the government to extend financial help including loan waiver to fruit growers in Jammu and Kashmir whose crop have been hit by unexpected snowfall and lack of transport in the state.

Also read: Student unions protest against Citizenship Bill in North Eastern states

Anbumani Ramadoss of the PMK wanted the the government to declare a State of Climate Emergency and undertake measures to reduce usage of fossil fuel, cut coal based thermal power generation, raise share of electricity generated from renewable sources, increase public transport and check rearing of cattle for human consumption as it causes methane generation.

Sakaldeep Rajbhar (BJP) smelled a rat in the decision of the National Centre of Organic Farming at Ghaziabad to stop production of decomposer and the same being now done by private firms.