Amid Fears of Crackdown on 'Illegal Migrants' in Assam, Detention Centre Near Mumbai Raises Eyebrows
The administration, however, on Monday clarified that the detention centre had nothing to do with National Register of Citizens. This is a regular detention centre under section 4 of the Passport Act, Special IG Brijesh Singh said.
News18 Creative by Mir Suhail
New Delhi: Less than a fortnight after 19 lakh people in Assam were declared as foreigners post the final NRC list, the Maharashtra Home Ministry is said to have identified a land in Navi Mumbai to build a detention centre for illegal immigrants till they are deported.
According to reports, the state government had written a letter to City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO), the planning agency in Navi Mumbai, seeking a 450-square metre plot in Nerul, which currently houses a shelter for women in distress.
The administration, however, on Monday clarified that the detention centre had nothing to do with NRC.
"It has nothing to do with NRC. This is a regular detention centre under section 4 of the Passport Act. Every country while deciding on the status of a foreigner who needs to be deported has to keep this special class of people in proper condition since they are neither accused nor punished at that time; either for pending documentation or for confirmation of their status, they have to be maintained. And every government makes provision for this. This is an old proposal for people who are in violation of visa rules. It's got nothing to do with NRC categorically," said Special IG Brijesh Singh while talking to News18.
The reports on detention centre in Navi Mumbai had instilled a sense of fear in many as the Assam administration is already setting up a camp in Goalpara town with "separate living facilities for men and women". This is the first of at least 10 detention centers Assam has planned, according to local media reports.
The government says there are hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants in Assam from Muslim-majority Bangladesh, but Dhaka has refused to accept anyone declared an illegal immigrant in India.
The mammoth Supreme Court-ordered exercise to document Assam's citizens has been strongly backed by the central government. Critics say the campaign is aimed at Muslims, even those who have lived legally in India for decades. Many Hindus, mostly poor and ill-educated, are also not on the citizenship list released last week.
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