PM Modi Stokes Detention Camp Controversy

by Darshit Singh 2 months ago Views 918
PM Modi Stokes Detention Camp Controversy
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his address from Delhi's Ramlila Maidan on December 22 denied that there were any detention centres in India, and implied that the nationwide NRC -- a matter referred to repeatedly by his home minister Amit Shah -- may not be happening. The Congress and the "urban Naxals", he said, were spreading rumours and brainwashing those doubtful about it.

PM’s statement contradicts his Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs G. Kishan Reddy’s reply on 16th July in the Lok Sabha to a query raised by T.N. Prathapan on detention centre where he said, “detention centres have been set up in Assam to detain the Declared Foreign Nationals (DFNs) and Convicted Foreigners who have completed their sentences and whose repatriation to their country of origin is pending nationality verification.“

Also Read: In Assam, A Solidarity Network Has Emerged To Help Those At Risk Of Becoming Stateless

As per now construction of India’s first illegal immigrant detention camp is on the verge of completion in the Goalpara district of Assam which started back in 2018. The detention camp is being built to house those ousted from the National Register of Citizens (NRC) list.

A total of 19 lakh people have been left out of the NRC list, making them stateless while 3.30 crores names feature on the list.   

The mass detention centre in Goalpara district's Matia can accommodate 3,000 people and is being built over an area of 2.5 hectares, about the size of seven soccer fields. It will have 15 four-storey buildings to keep the detainees.

Detention centre will also have a hospital, a common kitchen, and 180 toilets and washrooms (that’s one toilet for 17 people). Each room can accommodate 4-5 detainees. There will also be a primary school just outside the detention centre.

The detention centre will also have watchtowers but officials are quick to clarify that the Goalpara detention centre will not have tough rules like a regular jail. 

Women with children and nursing mothers and will get a special care facility within the detention centre.

The construction for the detention centre began last year by the Assam Police Housing Corporation Limited with an estimated cost of Rs 46 crores.

Even though the Central Government has assured that whose names don’t feature on the list cannot be declared foreigners till all legal options are worked upon but when the deadline ends, those unable to prove their citizenship will be sent to India’s first fully-fledged detention centre. The time limit to file the appeal has been extended from 60 to 120 days. Ten such detention centres have been proposed in Assam.