Less than a fortnight after the final NRC list in Assam declared 19 lakh people as immigrants/foreigners and aroused speculations that there could be a possibility of the same exercise in Maharashtra, the state’s Home Ministry has reportedly written to the Navi Mumbai Planning Authority, asking for land on which they can build a detention centre for illegal immigrants.
The NRC in Assam was released on August 31.
According to sources within the City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) of Maharashtra, they have received a letter seeking a two to three acre plot in Nerul, a residential and commercial neighbourhood that is approximately 20 kilometres from Mumbai in the Navi Mumbai region.
There has not been any notification regarding this from the government as yet, but the guidelines for all major immigration points in India states that detention centres have to be made available.
In an earlier statement, Shiv Sena leader Arvind Sawant told ANI last week that, “NRC was needed in Assam to solve the problems of the original inhabitants of the region. That is why we supported the NRC move… want a similar exercise to be held in Mumbai to drive out the Bangladeshis living here.”
The present Modi government had this as a major electoral point during the general elections 2019. During the parliament, Home Minister Amit Shah had told the Rajya Sabha that the government would search “every inch of the country’s soil” to identify illegal immigrants.
BJP ministers in the Bihar cabinet have also shown interest in the subject of an NRC-style exercise in the state. where the party is in alliance with the Janata Dal (United).
In May 2019, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant inaugurated a detention centre built at a cost of Rs. 50 lakh.