After a long wait, Assam government has begun the process of shifting doubtful and declared foreigners into the newly built dedicated detention centre, now renamed as transit camp, in Goalpara district, a senior official said on Sunday.
The government has constructed the first dedicated centre at Matia in Goalpara district to put the suspected and declared foreigners found in Assam.
It has a capacity to house 3,000 inmates, including 400 females.
"The first batch of 68 inmates were moved to the transit camp on Friday from Goalpara District Jail. They include 45 men, 21 women, one girl and one boy," said Sashi Kumar Deka, Superintendent (In-Charge) of the Transit Camp.
Prior to this new facility, Assam had six transit camps, which were created by making a part of the existing jails at Goalpara, Kokrajhar, Jorhat, Silchar, Dibrugarh and Tezpur.
"All these 68 inmates were shifted from the Goalpara jail transit camp. These were all declared foreigners by the Foreigners Tribunal (FT) in cases of 'D' (Dubious or Doubtful) voters," Deka said.
A senior official at Assam Prison Headquarters told PTI that with shifting of these inmates to the new centre, the Goalpara District Jail will no longer house any person related to foreigners cases.
"A case on detention centres is going on at Gauhati high court. We will shift the other inmates lodged in the remaining five centres as per the court order and instructions from the state government," she added.
Around 220 suspected and declared foreigners, including the 68 inmates in the new transit camp, are lodged at various centres, the official said.
The Goalpara transit camp has been built on 22 bighas of land (over 7 acres) in West Matia at an expenditure of Rs 46 crore.
The construction work of the camp had started in December 2018.
The Gauhati high court in August 2021 gave 45 days time to the Assam government to finish the construction work of the unit.
The transit camp has a total of 15 buildings, including two dedicated to women.
Each of the units has a capacity to house 200 inmates.
The facility has been provided with hospitals, schools, recreation centres, dining and other amenities.