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Unable To Pay For Legal Expenses, Man Dies In Assam Detention Camp

His Father Was An Indian, He Was Labelled A ‘Foreigner’.

Jabbar Ali, 65, died on Thursday night at a detention camp in Tezpur, Assam because he was declared a foreigner as he was too poor to fight a legal battle. Ali’s body was handed over to his family in Udalguri district on Friday. This case highlights how genuine Indian people being harassed in the name of detecting foreigners, The Telegraph reported.

Ali, a father of two, was in the detention camp since 2015 after he was declared a foreigner through an ex-parte judgment by a Foreigners Tribunal (FT) in Darrang district. The Gauhati High Court also dismissed his petition for a review the same year.

He was an asthma patient. On Wednesday, his condition deteriorated. The jail authorities admitted him to Kanaklata civil hospital, where he died after a day.

Ali’s lawyer M.U. Mahmud told The Telegraph that he was declared a foreigner by the court despite the fact that his father’s name was in the 1951 National Register of Citizens and subsequent voter lists.

The Telegraph also quoted All Assam Minorities Students’ Union president Azizur Rahman as saying, “The state government is trying to wash its hands of the matter by handing over Ali’s body to his family. If the government was so sure that Ali belonged to that family at Dhansrikhuti, why was he kept in a detention camp?” Rahman also noted that the people of Dhansrikhuti initially refused to conduct Ali’s janaza (funeral) and demanded that the superintendent of police and the deputy commissioner of Udalguri should visit their village and announce that Ali was not a foreigner. He asserted that the janaza was finally conducted under pressure of the police.

In a series of tweets, Guwahati-based lawyer Aman Wadud explained the case and underlined, “Eventually if a dead body of a detainee is handed over to the family, WHY not when alive??”

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