Karnataka contradicts Modi, opens 1st detention centre for illegal immigrants

K'taka Home Minister said the centre will not be used to detain those left out of NRC

PTI12_24_2019_000248B Protestors hold placards as they raise slogans during an anti-Citizenship Act candle light protest, in Bengaluru | PTI

Karnataka opened the state's first detention centre to lodge illegal immigrants on Wednesday. The inauguration of the facility has proved Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrong, who, on December 21, had said that there were no detention centres being made for illegal immigrants in India.

The facility at Sondekoppa village near Bengaluru city has several rooms, toilets and a kitchen. A 20-year-old building, which had functioned as hostel for students from socially backward communities, has been converted as the detention centre.

News agency PTI, quoting an anonymous social welfare department official, reported that his department got the government direction to keep the Central Relief Centre (CRC) ready before January 1.

However, state Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai said the centre will not be used to detain people who are left out the National Register of Citizens (NRC). “We have no plans to detain people on the issue of citizenship,” he said.

He said the centre has been set up to lodge African nationals, who are overstaying in India and indulge in drug peddling. “Illegal activities of African nationals create law and order situation,” he said.