NEW DELHI: The Assam state Home Department has given its nod to set up the first ever full-fledged foreigners’ detention centre in the State.

This will be the biggest foreigners’ detention centre in the entire country and the estimate for funds is expected to be placed before the Union Government very soon.

Speaking to The Citizen, DGP Assam Mukesh Sahay said, “We are coming up with this full fledged detention centre as per the supreme court directive. It says that once a person has been declared as a refugee he needs to be deported through proper channel. Since this involves the home ministry and the external affairs ministry it takes time Till that time we need to house them in a place which is not jail. So the detention centres are needed”.

Although the State has at present six detention camps, each one of them, however, is functioning on a makeshift basis and that too inside jail premises. The need for finding separate camps for the declared foreigners was felt as most of the jails are overcrowded.

The Home Department has asked the office of the Additional Director General of Police (Border) to prepare a detailed project report in this connection. The State Government has already allotted 20 bighas of land in Dakurbhita area in Goalpara district for the first ever detention camp of the declared foreigners.

According to the sources it has been told that with an increase in the number of Foreigners’ Tribunals from 36 to 100 in the State, more and more illegal migrants are expected to be detected, necessitating better arrangements. The detention camps are located within the jail premises of Goalpara, Kokrajhar, Silchar, Dibrugarh, Jorhat and Tezpur.

A senior veteran journalist Neva Thakuria reacting to this step said “We need better law for the deportation and management of the refugees. There are several Bangladeshis who have become different nationals after the borders got separated. There are also those who have become refugees because the land was marked in a way that relatives were left on the other side and assume another nationality. They need better laws because they have roots here and want to come back”

The detention centre will soon be ready and it will house refugees mostly of the bordering areas.