Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) leader and former Social Justice Minister MK Muneer on Saturday clarified that there were no plans to start detention centers during the United Democratic Front (UDF) rule in Kerala and it was just 'rehabilitation' centers for foreigners that were mooted. Kerala government on Friday, December 27, explained that there will be no detention centres in the State
Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi denied the existence of any detention centre in India speaking at the Aabhar rally at Ramlila Maidan in the national capital. Requesting the youth of the country to read the Citizenship Amendment Act in detail, he asked them not to believe the rumors in this regard. He contended that such a “lie” was dividing the nation.
Muneer also stated that while he was in power, a meeting was held with the police department pertaining to the rehabilitation of the illegal immigrants.
"The clarification issued by the Kerala Chief Minister's Office does not fit with the current context. In the year 2012, the Central government gave a direction which was regarding the foreigners who had overstayed and whose visas got expired. They were already in jail," he said while speaking to a news agency.
"What the police department looked into was how to rehabilitate them including the illegal immigrants. For rehabilitation, there should be a proper building for which the police department approached the Social Justice Department," he said.
"Social Justice Department, at the lower level, wanted to know how many people were imprisoned. So they sought information from the secretariat level to the Crime Records Bureau. But, the Crime Bureau did not respond to their query. So the process was not alive," he added.
The politics around detention centres started after PM Modi said that there were no detention centres in Assam set up by his government. This was countered by former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi who shared a news clip showing the detention centre in Assam's Goalpara, stating that the Home Ministry in 2018 had sanctioned Rs 46.41 crores to construct it, which has allegedly been 70% completed. He further alleged that PM Modi was lying to the public.
The BJP countered this stating that the UPA government's Ministry of Home Affairs had admitted in 2011 that three detention camps were opened in Assam - Gaolpara, Kokrajhar, and Silchar where 362 people have been detained in these detention camps.
Former Assam CM Tarun Gogoi too admitted to their existence adding that they were needed as Bangladesh was not accepting genuine foreigners back in their country then. He has since then shifted the blame to BJP asking 'Why did they not stop infiltrators?'
(With Inputs from ANI)