Netizens have branded Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a “liar” after he told a Ramlila Maidan rally on Sunday that there were no detention centres for illegal migrants in India.
They claim that there are such camps located in north-eastern Assam, and accused the head of the federal ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government of “distorting facts”.
According to a report in TelegraphIndia.com there are six detention camps in Assam located in Goalpara, Kokrajhar, Silchar, Dibrugarh, Jorhat and Tezpur. They camps are purportedly housed within district jails but the occupants are lodged separately from other inmates.
The reports further claims that the BJP-led government in Assam was building an exclusive detention centre in Goalpara district with the capacity to hold 3,000 inmates. Once completed, the occupants of the six detention camps in the prisons will be shifted to the Goalpara centre.
Outside Assam, the western Maharashtra government, under then-chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, allegedly identified land for the state’s first detention centre for illegal immigrants.
Such hashtags as #MeraPMJhoothaHai (My PM is a liar) and #ModiLies have gone viral on Twitter:
The PM said "there are no detention centres in India". This statement is as true as his love for human rights and as pure as Godse's love for Gandhi.— Anukriti Gupta (@Anukriti__Gupta) December 22, 2019
Lies, lies and many more lies#ModiLies pic.twitter.com/67skeUI0jN
"There will be no detention centre," says the Prime Minister.— Anish Gawande (@anishgawande) December 22, 2019
He is correct. There will be concentration camps. They've already started constructing them in Assam, they started identifying land in Mumbai in 2018.
Don't believe those who only know to spread hatred.#ModiLies
Addressing the Ramlila Maidan rally on Sunday, Modi accused the Congress opposition party of orchestrating the ongoing protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act by spreading “rumours” that the legislation was targeting Muslims in a bid to deprive them of their citizenship and send them to detention centres.
“No Muslim is being sent to detention centres, nor are there any detention centres in India. I am shocked at the lengths some people can go to spread lies,” he said.
The controversial new Citizenship Law along with a proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC) has led to nationwide protests, especially by the Muslim community, who allege it was discriminatory. The NRC calls for the identification of all illegal immigrants living in India, but some Muslims were concerned that NRC, whenever enforced would only call for Muslims to prove their citizenship and not people of any other faith.
The Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 grants citizenship to illegal immigrants from six religious minorities – Hindus, Parsis, Jains, Christians, Buddhists, and Sikhs, from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, if they arrived in India prior to 31 December, 2014. It, however, excludes Muslims - a decision viewed by many protesters as a breach of the Indian constitution.