Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday, December 23, said that detention centres will not be set up in the state.
The CM’s comments come a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech at Ramlila Maidan where he claimed that no detention centres are there in the country. However, in September, the Maharashtra government under the then CM Devendra Fadnavis had announced that they had identified land in Nerul, Navi Mumbai, to construct the state’s first detention centre for illegal migrants.
In addition, in a letter to the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDC) on November 30 the Home Department had asked for a building to be used as a temporary detention centre and a plot for building a permanent one.
The CM said that several misunderstandings were being spread about detention camps and clarified that the centres were for foreign nationals.
“Several misunderstandings are being spread about detention camps. That is a system is for foreign nationals who have served their sentence for the cases related to drugs or other (offences). These foreign nationals are kept in detention camps during the time till they complete their documentation process for deportation,” Thackeray said during a meeting with a delegation of Muslim legislators and clerics.
The CM also clarified on citizenships of Muslims and said they have nothing to fear. “There has been no decision on NRC. If it all such a law comes, then it will not be only for Muslims, but for all religions,” he added.
He added that his government will decide the stance on NRC after the Supreme Court hears the matter on January 22.
Addressing the numerous protests that have swept the country, he said, “We must make efforts to ensure the state’s reputation and tradition of being peaceful. Nobody’s rights will be taken away. The government is strong enough to protect the rights of citizens of all religions.”
The event was also attended by Ministers Eknath Shinde and Subhash Desai, MLAs Abdul Sattar, Amin Patel, Nawab Malik, Abu Azmi, Maharashtra Director General of Police Subodh Jaiswal and Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjay Barve.
Meanwhile, speaking to reporters on Monday, Fadnavis claimed that there were no plans to set up detention centres during his regime as the CM.
“It is true that there was a proposal that City and Industrial Development Corporation of Maharashtra (CIDCO) will build a centre in Navi Mumbai where the foreign nationals whose visas are expired, but were found living in the country can be kept,” he said.