New Delhi: While Prime Minister Narendra Modi has claimed that there are no detention centres in the country, his ministers informed the Lok Sabha numerous times that there are six such centres in Assam.
“Detention centres are set up by state governments or Union Territory administrations as per their requirement, for detaining illegal migrants or foreigners who have completed their sentence and are awaiting deportation to their native country.
At present, detention centres have been set up only in Assam,” Minister of State of Home Affairs Nityanand Rai had informed the Lok Sabha on November 19.
In reply to a question raised by Congress MP from Barpeta constituency of Assam, Rai said, as of November 13, a total of 1,043 foreigners were residing in the six detention centres in Assam. “A total of 1,025 Bangladeshi and 18 Myanmarese are in these centres,” he informed the House.
Rai, on July 2, stated that instructions have been issued to all state governments and UTs from time to time -- in 2009, 2012, 2014 and 2018 -- for setting up detention centres to restrict the movements of illegally staying foreign nationals, so that they are physically available at all times for expeditious repatriation and deportation.
He also said that since illegal migrants enter the country without valid travel documents “in a clandestine and surreptitious manner, there is no accurate data regarding the number of such illegal migrants living in the country”.
PM Modi in his speech at Ramlila Maidan on Sunday said the CAA is not for any Indian, be it Muslim or Hindu. He also said opposition parties are spreading rumours that all Muslims will be sent to detention centres.
“Neither Muslims are being sent to the detention centres, nor there are any detention centres in the country,” Modi said while addressing the rally in the national capital.
However, on July 16, G Kishan Reddy, also Minister of State for Home, said the detention centres in Assam cater to Declared Foreign Nationals and Convicted Foreigners who have completed their sentences and whose repatriation to their country of origin is pending nationality verification.
The centres are in Goalpara, Kokrajhar, Silchar, Dibrugarh, Jorhat and Tezpur, having 970 people, as of November 28.
He rejected the scope of the question raised by Congress MP from Thrissur (Kerala) TN Prathapan that these centres are to detain those who don't have enough documents to prove their citizenship.
He said the Ministry of Home Affairs has also issued a Camp Manual' for implementation and compliance in these centres. Reddy, on July 2, in another answer to Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, informed that 769 people have been kept in these detention centres (in Assam) for more than a year, as of June 25.
Reddy, on December 3, informed that Women and men detainees are kept in separate rooms, with sufficient essential and basic facilities.
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