K'taka is building detention centre to lock-up illegals

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The state government plans to build a detention centre to hold illegal immigrants as a means of addressing — what an official called — a growing law and order problem.

The plans came to the open on July 2, when the Minister of Home Affairs Nityanand Rai asked BJP's Lok Sabha member from Bangalore Central P C Mohan if Karnataka was building such a centre. Mohan answered in the affirmative.

"The government of Karnataka has informed that they are in the process of establishing detention or holding the centre. The required police personnel and other infrastructure facilities have been allocated for this purpose and necessary work is under progress," Mohan said.

Karnataka will be the second state in the country to have a detention centre, the first being in Assam. Quoting the state government, Mohan said 143 cases have been registered against illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and 114 of them have been deported.

Responding to Rai, Mohan said building a detention centre would make it easier for law enforcement officials to focus on "illegally staying foreign nationals so that they are physically available at all times for expeditious repatriation/deportation". 

Mohan admitted to DH that permission has been given to build the facility, but dodged questions on its location. A news report that came last year had revealed that the facility would come up in Nelamangala and it would be operational from later this year.

In August 2018, Mohan wrote to the then Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju, expressing concern over the growing number of Bangladeshi and African illegals in Bengaluru. He believed that Bangladeshi illegal immigrants number in lakhs and Africans in thousands.

"These people have indulged in various illegal activities such as drug peddling, prostitution, online frauds, house thefts and robberies," Mohan had written, adding that law and order had been threatened.

The home ministry had earmarked Rs 47 crore to set up the detention centre in Assam, which will become operational in August.

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