New Delhi: At least 500 inmates staying in different relief camps in Dhubri district in Assam have gone missing and are suspected to have crossed over to Bangladesh after authorities started verifying antecedents of the victims of recent clashes between Bodos and immigrant Muslims.
Quoting inputs from intelligence agencies, official sources said at least 500 people living in relief camps fled from Assam after the authorities started checking their identity documents and land records before allowing them to be rehabilitated.
"We have reports that these people have crossed over to Bangladesh fearing detection as they did not have any document to proof their identity of being Indian," a source said.
Initially, there were reports that several thousands of people living in relief camps went missing but after verification it was found that around 500 inmates went missing from relief camps.
Nearly two lakh people affected in recent violence in Bodo-dominated areas are living in around 215 relief camps in Assam.
Meanwhile, in order to deal with the growing demand for detection of illegal immigrants, Assam government has asked the Union Home Ministry to allow setting up of 64 additional tribunals for detection of foreigners.
In a communication to Union Home Secretary R K Singh,the state government reasoned that additional tribunals would help settle more than three lakh cases pending before the 36 tribunals currently Assam has.
"We will send a proposal to the Finance Ministry for approval", a Home Ministry official said.
The Centre reimburses the expenses incurred on functioning 36 tribunals. Around Rs 22 lakh is estimated to be the expense for each tribunal.
The tribunals function under Foreigners Act 1946.
According to official records, the 36 foreigners tribunals have detected a total of 3,83,790 illegal foreign nationals in Assam from 1986 till July 2012.
But, except a few hundreds, all went missing and their whereabouts were yet to be found.