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Bangla migrant centres

New Delhi, July 31: Every state in India will build “detention centres” for illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, the Narendra Modi government has decided in consultation with states.

By pushing the idea, the BJP-led government has revived a 2005 action plan for detection and deportation of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants. Foreign minister Sushma Swaraj had brought up the issue of illegal migration during her recent visit to Dhaka.

“We had a meeting this month with state government officials and it was agreed that every state should have a detention centre,” a senior home ministry official said today.

“The states will spend (money) on setting up the centres,” the official added.

Detention centres are arrangements made by states to house illegal migrants arrested and jailed under the Foreigners Act for illegally entering India. When an illegal migrant completes his or her sentence, there is usually a time gap till the person is deported. These centres have basic facilities and are “not like a jail”.

Delhi has two detention centres while Assam, known to have a high incidence of illegal migration from Bangladesh, has three. Bengal has at least one, sources here said, though the central government does not maintain statistics, either on such centres in states or on deportations by state governments.

“Only a handful of states have detention centres and now we want all the states to have at least one such centre,” said an official.

This month’s meeting at the ministry of home affairs was limited to discussions on setting up the detention centres.