20, Mar 2020 | CJP Team
Three people of a family; father, mother and son, were finally released from the Tezpur detention camp in Assam after CJP intervened in the case. They had been held in captivity for over four years and were unable to satisfy bail conditions despite being eligible for release.
CJP’s Team Assam has been working relentlessly to get those wrongfully detained, freed. CJP’s volunteer motivator Faruk Ahmed who helped secure this family’s release tells us, “Jainuddin son of late Tamijuddin was a resident of Borkhal gaon, in Morigaon District, under Jagiroad police station. On September 15, 2015, Jainuddin and his son Kamal Ali were arrested by the Jagiroad police and ended up at the Goalpara detention camp after being declared foreigners. Just two days before that on September 13, 2015, Jainuddin’s wife Hajera Bibi was arrested by the Jagiroad police and sent her to Kokrajhar detention camp as Declared Foreigner.” After a few months, all members of the family were transferred to Tezpur detention camp. They belong to an extremely impoverished background and have been behind bars for four years! This is because they have to raise a total of Rs 6 lakh worth of sureties.
Now that the final NRC has been published, and 19,06,657 people have been excluded from the final list, CJP’s campaign has become even more focused. Our objective now, is to help these excluded people defend their citizenship before Foreigners’ Tribunals. For this we have already started conducting a series of workshops to train paralegals to assist people at FTs. We will also be publishing a multi-media training manual containing simplified aspects of legal procedure, evidentiary rules, and judicial precedents that will ensure the appeals filed against the NRC exclusions in the FTs are comprehensive and sound, both in fact and in law. This will assist our paralegals, lawyers and the wider community in Assam to negotiate this tortuous process. For this we need your continued support. Please donate now to help us help Assam.
In May, 2019, the honourable Supreme Court had ordered that inmates who had completed three years in detention camps be released on bail subject to certain conditions. A key condition was execution of bond with two sureties of Rs.1,00,000/- (Rupees one lakh only) each. This has proved to be a major stumbling block for many inmates as they are either unable to find such sureties or even if they do, it is difficult to provide acceptable documentary evidence of sufficient funds to cover the surety amount.
“Not all sureties have cash ready. Sometimes as guarantee they submit land or property ownership papers. These need to be authenticated and that is a tedious task and requires one to run from pillar to post,” explains CJP volunteer motivator Nanda Ghosh who had faced the same challenge in helping secure the release of two brothers, Samsul Ali (67) and Abdur Rashid (60), from the Goalpara detention camp recently. “We collected documents and moved from one office to another, from the Circle Office to the Sub Divisional Officer and the process went on for four months,” he says.
CJP’s paralegal team member Mojnur Ali brought Jainuddin’s case to Faruk Ahmed’s attention. Ahmed who has been handling many such cases explains, “In some cases, the bailers were ready, but due to minor discrepancies in their name in various documents, the paperwork was rejected by the authority.” He adds, “Preparation of documentation for conditional bail is not an easy process. For preparing the documents, the victim has to pay huge amount to the officials for getting their land holding, Jamabondi copy of patta land and valuation certificate of the land. The team had to go to the Circle Office almost every day in a month. It is not only a time consuming but also an expensive process.”
The Morigaon district team somehow managed to get 6 sureties, but one after the other their documents were sent back due to minor discrepancies in how their names appeared in different documents. “A total of Rs. 14000- 15000/- were spent for the documents of each of the previously rejected bailers and all financial arrangements were done by Raujita Begum, Jainuddin’s married daughter. The economic condition of Raujita’s family is also very poor as they are daily wage earners,” says Ahmed. Meanwhile the other family members got increasingly worried as Jainuddin is a nerve and high blood pressure patient and his wife Hajera Bibi also has many health issues.
At last, three people from Assamese Hindu community and one from Muslim community were found and agreed to become bailers for the helpless family. After a long and sustained campaign and a tedious process of completing formalities CJP’s Morigaon team the family was released from the Tezpur detention camp on March 18, 2020.
There are still many other cases in Morigaon, Nagaon, Sonitpur, Chirang, Barpeta etc. and the CJP team is constantly working to help eligible detainees secure bail.