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Women foreign nationals demand humanitarian deal
Sanjoy Ray
 GUWAHATI, Aug 18 - In a development that may have its repercussions felt both in Delhi and Dhaka, more than 150 declared women foreign nationals in the State have resorted to an indefinite hunger strike demanding a ‘better and humanitarian’ deal.

 Worryingly, the health condition of a few is beginning to deteriorate.

These women jail inmates of Kokrajhar detention camp (Kokrajhar jail) have refused to take any food since Wednesday making the authorities jittery.

This is arguably for the first time that such a big number of women inmates, and that too those declared foreigners by the foreigner’s tribunals, have resorted to hunger strike in any of the prisons in the State.

While authorities are trying to keep the development under the wraps, sources told The Assam Tribune that the inmates are demanding frequent contact with their family members besides better access to medical facilities.

“The strikers are also demanding that their fate be decided at a fast pace,” sources privy to the development said expressing fear that the problem, if not resolved immediately, may even lead to law and order problem.

“We all know what happened in Mumbai's Byculla jail recently. As it relates to women and children, any discrepancy may amount of serious human rights violation and may even land the jail authorities in trouble,” sources opined.

Jails in Assam, from time to time, have been the cynosure of all eyes, especially due to shortage of staff, including doctors and medical staff.

Along with other jails, Kokrajhar jail too is functioning without its superintendent for more than a year now. Besides, posts of jailor and other posts are also lying vacant.

Sources at the Prisons department, however, claimed that efforts are to calm the situation and if required additional manpower would be deployed to avert any law and order situation.

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