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Centre wanted illegal Bangladeshi migrants in transit camps: Raje
May 19, 2008 13:07 IST
With the role of illegal Bangladeshi migrants coming under the scanner in the wake of the Jaipur blasts, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje has claimed that the Centre had suggested to it to put them in a "transit camp".
She said the state government had written numerous letters to the Centre from time to time on the issue of deportation of Bangladeshi nationals who were finding their way into Rajasthan.
"We wrote to them in June 2007 to say, look we need to do something about this. We got a reply back from them (Centre) saying, well why don't you just collect them and put them into a transit camp somewhere," Raje told 'Walk the Talk' programme on NDTV.
The chief minister said that such a suggestion was received from the home ministry.
Raje's remarks may further strain the relations between the Centre and the Bharatiya Janata Party-led state government, which have traded charges on the issue of intelligence failure following the serial blasts.
Asked if the home ministry had formally written to the state government to "round up" illegal Bangladeshis, she said, "Yes kindly round them up and put them in a transit camp, which you pay for."
Apparently expressing her displeasure over the Centre's suggestions to set up camps, the chief minister admitted it was something like asking the state to "set up its own Guantanamo Bay (where the US security agencies keep terror suspects)."
"Something like that. But it's much more serious than that," she said.
To a question that under what law the state could detain people in a transit camp, the Chief Minister said, "We have been asking the same question (to the Centre)."
With the needle of suspicion pointing towards Bangladesh-based terror group Harkat-ul-Jihadi Islami in the May 13 serial blasts, the Rajasthan government has launched a manhunt to identify Bangladeshis "having criminal background" in the state within the next 30 days.
BJP has been holding the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government's "soft approach" towards terrorism responsible for the terror strike in Jaipur which left 64 dead.