Increase capacity of foreigners’ detention centre in Bengaluru: Jnanendra to police

Updated on Aug 12, 2022 12:07 AM IST

The orders were given during a high-level meeting called by the minister on Thursday. During the meeting, the minister said illegal immigrants and those foreigners staying even after their visa period expires needs to be deported as they pose a threat to national security by indulging in anti-national activities.

Karnataka home minister Araga Jnanendra has asked the state police and the social welfare department to increase the capacity of the foreigners detention centre in Bengaluru. (HT)
Karnataka home minister Araga Jnanendra has asked the state police and the social welfare department to increase the capacity of the foreigners detention centre in Bengaluru. (HT)
By, Bengaluru

Karnataka home minister Araga Jnanendra has asked the state police and the social welfare department to increase the capacity of the foreigners detention centre in Bengaluru.

The orders were given during a high-level meeting called by the minister on Thursday. During the meeting, the minister said illegal immigrants and those foreigners staying even after their visa period expires needs to be deported as they pose a threat to national security by indulging in anti-national activities.

The Karnataka high court issued a notice to the Centre and the state after hearing a PIL seeking arrangements to shift 38 Sri Lankan citizens, victims of human trafficking languishing in central prison in the city for over a year, to the foreigners detention centre.

DG and IGP Praveen Sood brought up the matter of increasing the capacity of the detention centre in Nelamangala. The minister said the current centre was very small and there was a need to increase its capacity.

“As per the law of the land, there is no provision to keep overstaying foreigners including illegal immigrants from Bangladesh in any prison. They must be kept at the detention centre,” he said.

“Illegal immigrants overstaying in the country even after their visa term gets over need to be extended as they can pose a threat to national security by indulging in anti-national activities,” he added.

In the meeting, police chief Sood proposed to expand and increase the capacity of the detention centre that provides temporary accommodation to illegal foreign immigrants.

“Immigrants from other countries, including illegal Bangladeshi citizens, should be arrested as per law but should not be kept in any jail and should be accommodated in the detention centre. However, the detention centre is functioning only in Nelamangala near Bengaluru and there is a lack of space,” Sood said.

Though the construction was completed in 2019, the facility remained locked and only became operational in October 2020. The centre, which is operated by the department of social welfare and secured by police, has the capacity to lodge 30 to 40 illegal immigrants at a time.

Even though the foreigner regional registration office’s records show there are more than 900 foreigners, whose visas have expired but are still staying in the city, with at least 43 with a criminal case against them, the centre has remained mostly empty since its inauguration.

However, there were complaints that the detention getting more inmates than its capacity.

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