The National Legal Services Authority has directed the Assam State Legal Authority to provide assistance as per the provisions of the Legal Services Authorities Act to people who have been declared as ‘D’ voters or facing trial in Foreigners Tribunals in Assam.
The directive was issued on July 17 in response to a couple of letters written by leader of the opposition Debabrata Saikia wherein he had highlighted the harassment faced by numerous people who have been prosecuted as foreign nationals despite having strong documentary evidence of Indian citizenship.
In a press release issued on July 25, Saikia welcomed the National Legal Service Authority’s action and hoped that the Assam State Legal Service Authority would provide all necessary assistance, including free legal aid, to people like Rebati Das, Anna Bala Ray and the family of former deputy speaker of the Assam Legislative Assembly, Maulana Amiruddin, who have been harassed in spite of possessing valid documents to prove their citizenship.
“Saikia visited various detention camps at Goalpara, Kokrajhar and Cachar in the last couple of years and collected data from the inmates while interacting with them. He has also visited areas like Morigaon and Udalguri and undertaken a similar exercise there. Saikia has written multiple letters and submitted several memoranda to the president, prime minister, Union home minister, chief justice of Gauhati high court and others wherein he highlighted the plight of genuine Indian citizens persecuted as foreign nationals and sought steps to alleviate their misery,” the official statement said.