Reiterating its stance on 'no NRC detention centres' in Assam, Minister for Home Affairs (MHA) MoS G Kishan Reddy, on Tuesday, has stated that there is only one centre at Matia, Goalpara with a capacity of 3000, in a written reply. The MHA has stated that there is no NRC detention camp/centre in Assam. Moreover, Reddy has stated in a written reply to the Lok Sabha that 10 inmates in the 6 detention centers in Assam who were declared foreigners/convicted foreigners have died in a different hospital from 1st March 2019 to 29th Feb 2020.
MoS MHA, in LS in a written reply to a question on the total number of detention centres in Assam: From 1st March, 2019 to 29th Feb, 2020, 3 teams of National Human Right Commission (NHRC) have visited Detention Centers in Assam and have interacted with declared foreign nationals— ANI (@ANI) March 17, 2020
On Febuary 14, the Supreme Court directed the Centre and the Assam government to file a fresh report with regard to the status of the release of Bangladeshi migrants in detention centres as per its earlier order. Advocate Prashant Bhushan that over 300 people were in detention for over three years, while more than 700 had been detained for over one year. The top court in May last year had ordered that illegal foreigners in Assam who have completed more than three years in detention may be released after they provide biometric details in a secured database.
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?'