We won’t set up detention camps, say chief ministers of Kerala, Bengal

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Published on Dec 28, 2019 01:11 AM IST
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New Delhi The chief ministers of Kerala and West Bengal said on Friday that they won’t set up detention centres to house illegal immigrants in their respective states.

The comments from the two non- Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) governments come against the backdrop of a raging debate across the country over a proposed nationwide National Register of Citizen (NRC) in an attempt to deport illegal immigrants.

Stating that some people were trying to spread rumours about detention centres in the state, Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Viijayan said: “In 2012, the then Union government had sent a directive to the state to build detention centres to keep illegal immigrants. And in 2016 the social justice department director was assigned to oversee this. We haven’t seen any files on the issue after that,” he said.

An official statement from chief minister’s office (CMO) said that the Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led government in the state had no plans to build detention centres. “The present government has also instructed the authorities concerned to stop all works started by the previous government since 2012 in connection with the detention centre…,” the statement said.

Addressing a rally in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district, state chief minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee said: “They are talking of setting up detention camps. Who is in power here? We are. I am ready to give my life but I won’t allow BJP to set up detention camps.”

Modi lying about detention camps: Gogoi

Senior Congress leader Tarun Gogoi on Friday called Prime Minister Narendra Modi a “liar” for saying that there is no detention camp in the country and added that the BJP-led government at the Centre had sanctioned Rs 46 crore for one in Assam’s Goalpara district.

Gogoi said the Congress government in Assam he had headed had set up detention camps in the state as per a Gauhati High Court order.

“Modi is a liar. In 2018, the Narendra Modi government had sanctioned Rs 46 crore for constructing the largest detention centre at Matia in Goalpara district of Assam for housing 3,000 illegal immigrants. Suddenly he says there is no detention camp,” Gogoi said.

(With agency inputs)

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