Guwahati : India’s first detention camp for those declared foreigners after the publication of the contentious Assam National Register of Citizens or NRC last month is coming up in Assam’s Goalpara district. Situated some 150 kilometre west of Guwahati, the country’s largest detention camp is under construction and will most probably be completed by December this year.
The mass detention centre in Goalpara district’s Matia can house 3,000 people and is being built over an area of 2.5 hectares, about the size of seven soccer fields. It will have 15 four storey buildings to keep the detainees. The government expects the massive complex to be ready by December this year though rain had delayed the construction.
The detention camp will have a hospital, an auditorium, a common kitchen and 180 toilets and washrooms. There will also be a primary school just outside the detention centre. A red-painted boundary wall encircles the upcoming camp, with the outer wall at 20 feet and the inner wall at six feet. The detention centre will also have watchtowers. Women with children and nursing mothers will get a special care facility within the detention centre.
“Special attention is to be given to women/nursing mothers and children,” Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy had said in parliament in July. “Children lodged in detention centres are to be provided educational facilities in nearby local schools,” he had said.
The construction project for the mega detention centre, that costs Rs 46 crore, began last year and is being done by the Assam Police Housing Corporation Limited.
The centre has said people whose names don’t appear in the NRC cannot be declared foreigners till all legal formalities are exhausted. Every person left out of the NRC can appeal to the Foreigners Tribunal and subsequently approach the courts. The time limit to file the appeal has been extended from 60 to 120 days.