First detention Centre to come up in Mumbai for ‘illegal immigrants’: Report

Comes on the heels of announcement of final list of NRC in Assam leaving behind 19 lakh people

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Image Courtesy: The Independent

A new and worrying report in the Saturday edition of Mumbai Mirror, a daily published from Mumbai has highlighted that the Maharashtra government has identified land to build the state’s first detention centre for “illegal immigrants”.

Reportedly, the state home department had written to the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO), which is the planning authority for Navi Mumbai and sought a three acre plot on Nerul for the detention centre.

The development comes on the heels of the announcement of final list of the NRC (National Registry of Citizenship) last week in Assam, leaving as many as many as 19 lakh people out of the list, and hence suddenly stripped of citizenship. Those excluded from the list have 90 days now to appeal before the Foreigners’ Tribunals.

However, the same report says that the government sources have “refused to divulge the exact location” of the proposed detention centre in Nerul, saying that the plot has a structure which was till recently being used by an NGO.

The Union government has released ‘2019 Model Detention Manual’ which says that every city or district which has a major immigration check post, must have a detention centre.

An official said that there are “large number of illegal immigrants, especially Bangladeshi citizens, in Mumbai”, although the state home department has refused to share specific numbers. The official also said that since the “process to repatriate them takes time, a detention centre is necessary”. Apparently, currently these illegal migrants are in jail.

On the subject of NRC, BJP in Maharashtra is on the same page with its ally Shiv Sena. Just last Sunday, Shiv Sena’s member of Parliament and Union Minister for Heavy Industries Arvind Sawant demanded that NRC be implemented in Mumbai. “NRC was much needed in Assam to solve the problems of the original inhabitants of the region. That is why we supported the NRC move by the government and want a similar exercise to be held in Mumbai to drive out the Bangladeshis living here, once the process is over in Assam,” Sawant had said.



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