Maharashtra 'Plans' First Detention Centre In Navi Mumbai, More States To Follow
The Devendra Fadnavis-led Maharashtra government has sought a plot to build the state’s first detention centre for illegal immigrants.
The home department in the first week of September had written to the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) which is the planning agency in Navi Mumbai seeking 2-3 acre plot in Nerul for the detention centre.
A shelter for women in distress is said to be presently operational at the plot.
Sanjay Kumar, additional chief secretary (home) confirmed the report and said the home department has already identified a plot, reported Hindustan Times.
A CIDCO official anonymously said that the government is trying to get a place close to the SBI colony in Nerul. He said that the home department had asked CIDCO for plot No 14, in Sector 5 of Nerul.
The news dropped days after the final list of Assam’s National Register of Citizens excluded 19 lakh people as they failed to prove their citizenship. The number of people left out in the NRC list is equivalent to 6 per cent of Assam’s entire population. They are now given time to appeal to the foreigners’ tribunals and are at grave risk of being sent to any of the ten planned detention centres.
While the news of the detention centre in Maharashtra is ingraining fear of the possible implementation of NRC in Maharashtra, Senior IPS officer – Brijesh Singh has clarified that seeking land for detention centre has no connection with NRC. He said that the detention centre has been an old proposal by the Mumbai Police to send away illegal passport offenders.
“In the absence of a detention centre, it becomes a practical difficulty for the police as they cannot keep such a person under police custody,” he added.
However, Shiv Sena has been openly praising the NRC and wants it to be implemented in Maharashtra to drive out Bangladeshi living in the state.
Citizenship verification exercises formed a major part of the BJP’s election manifesto for both national elections in April-May and 2018 Assembly polls.
The proposal of the detention centre in Maharasthra came months after Centre sent instructions to all states and union territories to set up at least one detention centre each, with modern amenities, to house illegal migrants and foreigners.
While this will be the first detention centre in Maharashtra, construction to build detention centre is on a full swing in Assam’s Goalpara.
In the month of May, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant had inaugurated a detention centre in the costal state.