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Karnataka govt to HC: ‘Arrangements being made in each district to house illegal foreigners’

On Thursday, the Karnataka government presented an affidavit through public prosecutor V S Hegde stating that there are 612 illegal foreigners in Karnataka and arrangements are being made to set up detention centres in every district.

Karnataka High Court, Bengaluru Bangladesh immigrants arrested, Bangladesh immigrants Bengaluru, indian express news  The court was also informed that arrangements are being made to deport 58 illegal immigrants arrested on October 25 to Bangladesh in the next few days. (File)

Hearings on a bail petition filed in the Karnataka High Court by two allegedly illegal immigrants from Bangladesh — who were among 13 people arrested in August 2018 from rural Bengaluru — has highlighted the state’s lack of preparedness to house illegal immigrants despite a recent police crackdown on them in Bengaluru.

Since September 2019, when a bail plea was filed by Babul Khan (46) and his daughter Taniya (20), a single-judge bench has attempted to nudge the BJP government to ensure that illegal immigrants are housed in a manner that meets international standards before they are deported to their home countries. The October 25 arrest of 60 alleged illegal immigrants from Bangladesh has provided the impetus for the court to push the government to set up facilities to house illegal immigrants — after being informed by the state government on November 5 that no approved detention centre exists in the state.

The Karnataka government has stated that illegal immigrants will be housed in temporary facilities until a detention centre —- as per an MHA manual based on international conventions —is set up in January 2020 outside Bengaluru. It has also said that it is ready to set up MHA-approved detention centres in all districts.

On Thursday, the Karnataka government presented an affidavit through public prosecutor V S Hegde stating that there are 612 illegal foreigners in Karnataka and arrangements are being made to set up detention centres in every district. The court was also informed that arrangements are being made to deport 58 illegal immigrants arrested on October 25 to Bangladesh in the next few days.

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The state, some weeks ago, incidentally told the court that there were 373 illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, with 127 being released on bail.

During the hearings, Justice K N Phaneendra has stressed that his primary concern is “what happens to illegal immigrants after they are released on bail”, since they would continue to be illegal immigrants. At the same time, “their human rights must not be violated”, he said, while seeking a guarantee that all basic needs would be provided to them in the temporary locations where they would be housed.

On Thursday, Justice Phaneendra said a number of similar bail matters are pending, but he cannot take them up until proper facilities are in place to house those detained by police under Foreigners Act, 1946. He asked the state public prosecutor to get the state government to file an affidavit next week with details of detention centres for illegal immigrants and how they would be looked after until deportation.

First published on: 22-11-2019 at 05:47:20 am
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