Thiruvananthapuram: Notwithstanding the controversies over citizenship and uncivilised laws, the State Government has decided to go ahead with the construction plans of a detention centre in the State. The three private agencies have approached the Social Department, showing interest in the construction work.
The matter has been now left to the decision of the State Government. It is learnt that the State Home Secretary has already been apprised of the matter by the Social Justice Department.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had told the Assembly on February 11 last year that there was no change in the government's decision not to open detention centres in the State. But contrary to the Chief Minister's claim, the Social Justice Department invited expressions of interest for building the detention centre. During the first two times, there were no takers for the project. But three private agencies came forward after the third notification was released last June.
The Social Justice Department is planning to build a detention centre either in Thiruvananthapuram or Thrissur. The idea is to house a maximum of 10 persons at a time. The help of voluntary agencies will be solicited to run the detention centre.
Currently, a detention centre is temporarily being run by the Social Justice Department at a rented premises in Thrissur under the police control. This was done after the High Court of Kerala gave the nod for opening detention centres on the basis of the directive issued by the Central Government. Three inmates, including two Nigerian nationals released from the Viyyur Jail after completing the sentence, are currently housed there.
The Central Government gave the nod for the State to open detention centres nine years ago. A letter to this effect was sent by the Centre to the State Home Secretary in August, 2012. Later, the UDF Government's decision to open detention centres ran into controversy and the move ended midway.
WHAT IS A DETENTION CENTRE?
The Government of India had authorised the State governments to set up detention centres to keep foreigners, who entered the country illegally, in custody till they can be deported to their country of origin. The foreigners, who stay back in India after the expiry of their visa and passport, can be also put under these detention centres.
The foreigners, who are waiting for their visas to go back to their homeland after being served jail-term in India, are also housed in detention centres.