Detained as foreigner, Assam woman released after three years

Updated: Jun 28, 2019, 10:43 IST | mid-day online desk

Her release came on the day over one lakh people were excluded from the draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam after they were found ineligible

Detained as foreigner, Assam woman released after three years
Madhubala Mandal. Videograb

Guwahati: Three years after being tagged a 'foreigner' and sent to a detention camp in Assam, a 59-year-old woman has finally been released with police admitting she was a victim of mistaken identity and officials had picked up the wrong person. The victim of mistaken identity, Madhubala Mandal, a widow, returned home to her hearing-impaired daughter on Wednesday evening, shortly after being freed from a camp for illegal immigrants in Kokrajhar.

Madhubala Mandal was released after police admitted that they sent her to the detention camp instead of a Madhumala Das who was declared a foreigner by the Tribunal in 2016. Both women belong to Bishnupur in Chirang district. "When I received a complaint that Madhubala Mandal has become a victim of mistaken identity and sent to a detention centre, I constituted an inquiry and the facts came out. It was a case of mistaken identity," Sudhakar Singh, Chirang District Superintendent of Police told the media.

Sudhakar Singh also informed the police headquarters and moved the Foreigners Tribunal in Chirang for corrective action. "The tribunal on June 25 issued an order to release her." According to villagers, Madhumala Das and her husband had died long before the tribunal had issued the notice.
"The tribunal issued the notice in the name of Madhumala Das but the police apprehended Madhubala Mandal and sent her to the detention camp," a member of Das' family informed.

Madhumala Das's release came on the day over one lakh people were excluded from the draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam after they were found ineligible, adding to the 40 lakh names left out of the list published on July 30 last year. According to a statement issued by the state coordinator of NRC, 1,02,462 persons were declared ineligible during the process of verification carried out by the Local Registrars of Citizens Registration (LRCRs).

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