West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said there was no question of building detention centres in the state to house people in the event of a National Register of Citizens exercise to identify undocumented immigrants, Hindustan Times reported.
“There is no question of detention camps,” Banerjee said at an administrative review meeting in Siliguri town. “They have to do it through the state government, but we are not going to do that. You can be rest assured about it. There will be no detention camp in Bengal.”
On Monday, Banerjee had reiterated that the National Register of Citizens, which was finalised in Assam in August, would not be replicated in West Bengal. Union Home Minister Amit Shah had said last week that the Centre was making preparations for building detention camps for “illegal immigrants”. The Bharatiya Janata Party has repeatedly insisted that an exercise similar to the one in Assam will be carried out in West Bengal.
West Bengal Communist Party of India (Marxist) Secretary Surya Kanta Mishra had said at a party gathering in Howrah district on Sunday that the party would lead people to demolish detention centres if the Centre tried to build them.
However, BJP state chief Dilip Ghosh mocked Banerjee on Tuesday. “She loves to talk big,” Ghosh said. “Could she prevent implementation of GST, abrogation of Article 370 and the Triple Talaq Bill? She will not be able to prevent it once the process of National Register of Citizens is launched by the Centre.”
Banerjee also reiterated her opposition to the Citizenship Amendment Bill, which is yet to be passed in Parliament, on Tuesday. The bill aims to grant citizenship to non-Muslim immigrants from India’s neighbouring countries. But Banerjee said: “We have opposed CAB because it divides the people on religious grounds. We stick to our stand.”
‘Religious fanatics’ have set up schools in North Bengal, says Banerjee
Meanwhile, the Trinamool Congress president claimed “religious fanatics” had set up schools in North Bengal to brainwash the youth, PTI reported. She said it was an attempt to incite communal violence, and alleged that support for such initiatives was “coming from outside”. “The teachers in these schools get a monthly salary of Rs 20,000 to brainwash the students,” she claimed.
The chief minister also alleged that rumour-mongers were using Facebook and Twitter to spread communal hatred. “Not all posts on Facebook are true,” she said. “Facebook is good but not fakebook. These days we see rampant posts on Facebook where people are abusing one another. There is no control on fake news circulation. And we are not even verifying its authenticity.”
Banerjee directed Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha, Home Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay and Director General Virendra to take stringent measures against cyber crime and amend laws, if necessary, to check the menace of fake news.
Now, follow and debate the day’s most significant stories on Scroll Exchange.