Chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal at the meeting in Guwahati on Sunday.
Picture by UB Photos
Guwahati, June 5: Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal today said his government would extend all possible support, including financial assistance, to make foreigners tribunals effective in their functioning.
The assurance came during a meeting at Assam Administrative Staff College, Khanapara, here this afternoon when Sonowal discussed pending cases, infrastructure inadequacies and various other issues with officials of foreigners tribunals.
"I have discussed problems being faced by the tribunals in detail. My government will do everything possible to ensure that the tribunals function without any hassle. Proper and effective functioning of tribunals is very important as they are dealing with cases of suspected illegal citizens," Sonowal told reporters after the meeting.
Though Sonowal refused to divulge more on how his government would go ahead to strengthen the tribunals, sources told The Telegraph that the chief minister had asked the home department to chalk out a time-bound action plan and implement the same on a war footing.
The number of foreigners tribunals was increased from 36 to 100 last year following an increase in the number of cases related to alleged illegal foreigners. There are over 2.62 lakh cases pending with foreigners tribunals.
Judges of Gauhati High Court, during a training programme for members of the tribunals and border police officials held here in April, told Dispur that that financial constraints could not be the ground for its inability to provide basic facilities to foreigners tribunals.
Sources said members of the tribunals are not getting salaries on time and they had to go to the deputy commissioner's office for the daily expense to run the tribunals.
The tribunals are yet to be computerised.
Sources said the Sonowal government has laid great emphasis on strengthening the tribunals as solving the illegal migrants issue was the top agenda of the BJP during the Assembly elections when the party made a landslide victory.
Blaming the Congress-led government for unabated infiltration from Bangladesh, the BJP during the April's Assembly elections assured people that it would end the problem of infiltration and detect and deport illegal migrants as well as seal the India-Bangladesh border. "Effective functioning of foreigners tribunals is very crucial to solve illegal migrants' issue. Unless the tribunals solve cases it will be very difficult to detect those living illegally in the state. Officials of the tribunals told the chief minister during the today's meeting that if required infrastructures and facilities are created they can solve cases much faster than the present pace," a source said.