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SC orders release of Assam woman from detention camp

Guwahati: A woman identified as Sofia Khatun was released from the illegal migrants’ detention camp at Kokrajhar in Assam on Thursday as per Wednesday’s directive passed by the Supreme Court.
The 50-year-old woman was earlier tagged as a “D” (doubtful) voter and has been kept in the detention camp for the last two years since 2016 after a Foreigners’ Tribunal in Barpeta, Assam had declared her an illegal foreigner.
The Supreme Court while issuing the order for the release of Sofia Khatun noted that her parents, five brothers and husband were all Indian citizens as found in an inquiry conducted by the Assam government.
The Assam government, on the basis of an inquiry report submitted by Superintendent of Borer Police in Barpeta, had earlier – through an affidavit submitted before the Supreme Court – stated that Sofia khatun’s parents, brothers and husband possessed valid Indian citizenship.
Khatun was held at the detention centre back in 2016 following an order of the Foreigners Tribunal, which was not satisfied with her claims of citizenship after she had been listed as D-voter and was called upon to prove her credentials. She has three daughters and a son.
Earlier, the Gauhati High Court also rejected her citizenship claims because she never brought forth any argument regarding her brothers being Indian citizens. Therefore, the Assam government sought permission from the court to carry out a full inquiry into the matter.

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