Devil’s Arithmetic in Assam: 1.29 lakh ‘declared foreigners’, 970 in detention camps, 6 deported

Some more disclosures have been made in the Parliament as to data pertaining to declared foreigners and detainees in Assam. Speaking on basis of information made available by state government of Assam, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) provided answers to several questions pertaining NRC in Assam.


These questions were raised on December 10 by AIMIM’s Asaduddin Owaisi and Abdul Khaleque of Congress party hailing from Assam. The answers given by the MHA may be classified under the following heads:

Declared foreigners

The MHA stated that 1,29,009 persons have been declared foreigners by Foreigners Tribunals in Assam as of October 2019 and this number does not include any children. It also said that 1.14 lakh people who had appealed before Foreigners Tribunals were declared Indian Citizens. The Ministry further said that around 4.68 lakh matters have been referred to the Foreigners Tribunals until October. Even before the final draft of NRC was released in August, matters have been referred to Foreigners Tribunals and that explains the large number of references made to the Tribunals.

Female declared foreigners

The Ministry also stated that 290 women have been declared foreigners, however, it is not specified whether this data is of this year alone. One is compelled to assume and infer that this data is of the year 2019 alone since if there are 1.29 lakh declared foreigners, such a difference in the sex ratio is implausible.


Out of these 1.29 lakh declared foreigners only 6 persons have been deported to their countries of origin; 4 persons to Bangladesh and 2 persons to Afghanistan. This data seems to be pertaining solely to foreigners declared so by Foreigners Tribunals. Further the Ministry states that 227 foreigners have been deported, in totality, from Assam to their countries of origin as on December 5.

Detainees released

About detainees, the Ministry stated that 181 declared foreigners have completed more than 3 years in detention. Additionally, 128 detainees have been released from detention camps as per the Supreme Court order of May 2019 which facilitated conditional release of detainees who have spent more than 3 years in detention camps.

In the year 2019 alone 289 declared foreigners, that is people declared as foreigners by Foreigners Tribunals have been detained in detention camps.

There was some specific data, however, which the government showed the inability to present as the same has not been maintained by the government centrally. This was data pertaining to address and date of detention of detainees who have completed more than 3 years in detention camps and also data of origin of detainees detained in the current year.

There is also a vast difference in the number of declared foreigners and the number of persons in detention camps. Sabrang India had reported that in the current sessions itself the Ministry has provided data that there are 970 detainees in Assam as of November 28. Hence, among the many questions, arises this one: where are the rest of the 1,28,039 ‘declared foreigners’?

The answers may be read here.




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