Kolkata: The West Bengal government has decided to build two detention centres to house around 100 foreign nationals who were arrested on various charges. This comes amid fears of implementation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in the state.
According to sources, the decision was taken after it was found that the arrested foreign nationals, mainly from Africa, Nigeria, and China, are finding it difficult to adjust with Indian and Bangladeshi inmates because of the lifestyle.
Most of them were arrested on various charges including supplying drugs, cyber crime, and overstaying in India. “We have decided to mainly accommodate them as some of them are women and when they were arrested they were travelling with their children,” a state secretariat sources said.
Clarifying that the construction of detention centres are not related to NRC, State Correctional Services Minister Ujjwal Biswas, said, “Yes, we are setting up two detention camps in Bengal but I would like to clarify that this has nothing to do with NRC. Please don’t link it to NRC”.
“This is mainly for foreign nationals who were arrested. There are nearly 100 such inmates in Bengal and they will be put there,” he said.
It was learnt that the state government has already finalised a piece of land in New Town area, close to Salt Lake, and another piece of land has almost been finalised in Bongaon in North 24 Parganas district.
The detention camps will be ready as per Supreme Court’s directive, which says that arrested foreign nationals should not be kept with local inmates.
Ever since, 19.6 lakh names were removed from the final NRC list in Assam, there is fear of its implementation among people in Bengal.
It was learnt that the state government will soon issue a notification clarifying that this has nothing to do with the NRC people in Bengal