The work on a detention centre is progressing at quick pace in Goalpara district’s West Matia area in Assam, weeks after the final National Register of Citizens (NRC) was published, leaving out nearly 1.9 million people. It is expected to be complete by the end of this year.
This facility is likely to house a section of those who have been declared foreigners by the foreigners tribunals
“The work on this project started in December 2018, our target is to complete it by December 2019. It will cost around Rs 46 crore. Fifteen four-storey buildings are being built — 13 for men, 2 for women,” Junior Engineer (JE) of the detention centre, Rabindra Kumar Das told ANI.
According to a Ministry of Home Affairs response to a parliamentary question, the state already has over 1,17,164 persons who have been declared foreigners by the foreigners tribunals after they were marked as suspected illegal immigrants either by the local authorities. Out of this a little over 1,000 are in detention in makeshift detention centres which run out six jails. Over 60,000 have been declared foreigners ex parte.
Even as the Centre is yet to decide on the fate of those excluded from the NRC, they may face the risk of being detained if their appeals are rejected by the foreigners tribunals and they are declared foreigners.
Some 1.9 million people found themselves out of the final list of the NRC published last month after years of efforts aimed at ending a four-decade movement against illegal immigrants. The Supreme Court-monitored process of updating the NRC for Assam, last compiled 68 years ago, took four years and 55,000 officials poring over 66.4 million documents.
Those left out have been given 120 days to approach the Foreigners’ Tribunals for review. Over 200 new tribunals are being set up across the state for this purpose taking their total number to 300.
The detention centre with a twenty feet high inner periphery wall painted in red is being constructed over an area of 2,88,000 square feet and will have separate residential facilities for the security personnel and officials. Das also stated that the centre will have separate toilets, hospital, kitchen, dining area, recreational area and a school.
“There will be buildings for officers grade 4 staff. It will have 2 security barracks. The water system will have a capacity of 50,000 litres,” he added, reports ANI.