New Delhi: Karnataka has reportedly got its first detention centre at a time when the nation is witnessing unprecedented protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 which grants Indian citizenship to Hindu, Christian, Parsi, Sikh, Buddhist, fleeing religious persecution in the neighbouring countries of Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan. “In qualified terms, it is not a detention centre. There is no purpose per se to detain someone on the issue of citizenship,” said home minister Basavaraj Bommani. The centre, as the home minister said, is meant for African nationals overstaying in India and indulging in drug peddling.

The facility, as news agency PTI reported, has several rooms, a kitchen and toilets. A social welfare department officer told PTI on condition of anonymity that they have got the direction to keep the ‘Central Relief Centre’ (CRC) ready before January 1.

“There is no purpose per se to detain someone on the issue of citizenship. Please check with the social welfare department. At least I have no information that it has started. If at all it has been operationalised then there should be some detenue there? No one is there,” the minister said facing questions on whether the detention centre has anything to do with the recently passed Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019.

On Sunday, PM Modi said that there is no detention centre in the country. There is also no talk of countrywide NRC going on. Home minister Amit Shah, too, later said that there is no plan of countrywide NRC.

“I want to tell the 130 crore citizens of India that since my government has come to power, since 2014, there has been no discussion on NRC anywhere. Only after the Supreme Court’s order, this exercise was done for Assam,” PM Modi said on Sunday.

“Does PM Modi believe Indians can’t do a simple Google search to fact check his lies? Detention Centres are extremely real and will continue to grow as long as this government is in power,” the Congress party posted on its official Twitter handle.

(With PTI Inputs)