India Builds Largest Detention Centre For Those Excluded from NRC

India Builds Largest Detention Centre For Those Excluded from NRC

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The National Register of Citizens (NRC) aims to identify legal residents and weed out illegal immigrants, who now live in the fear of being rendered stateless. The question now is, once the procedure is over, where will the government accommodate all the people who are not included in the list? How will they be provided for?

More than 19 lakh people have been excluded and a total of 3,11,21,004 have been found eligible for inclusion in the final Assam NRC list.

Now, the government is constructing detention centres in Assam. The Quint reaches one such detention centre, located 22 kms from Guwahati, to find out more about the government’s plan to house those who don’t qualify as 'Indian citizens’.

Here’s an exclusive first look at India’s largest detention centre, located at Matia in Goalpara district of Assam. The new detention centre at Matia will house around 3,000 detainees.

Outer wall of India’s largest detention centre located at Matia in Goalpara district of Assam.
Outer wall of India’s largest detention centre located at Matia in Goalpara district of Assam.
(Photo: The Quint)

Assam has six detention centres now and the government is planning to build 10 more. Funded by the central government, the detention centre comes at a cost of approximately Rs 450 million.

These detention centres are mostly in district jails .

A detention camp in Matia will have 15 four-storey towers, each built to accommodate 200 inmates.

It is being expected that lakhs of those not included in the NRC list will be declared foreigners and be housed in these detention centres.

The outer periphery of India’s largest detention centre being built at Matia in Goalpara district of Assam.
The outer periphery of India’s largest detention centre being built at Matia in Goalpara district of Assam.
(Photo: The Quint)

The Matia detention centre will also have a school, hospital and separate living quarters for men and women.

On 2 September, however, the Home Ministry said that those left out of the final National Register of Citizens (NRC) list in Assam will not be detained, under any circumstances, till they "exhaust" all remedies available under law.

Such people can appeal to the Foreign Tribunals within 120 days, it said, stressing that they will continue to enjoy all their rights as earlier, like any other citizens.

Assam's newest detention centre is likely to be ready by December 2019.

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Producer: Hera Khan
Video Editor: Abhishek Sharma

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