Amid nationwide protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has said there are no detention centres in the state and Muslim citizens need not worry under his regime.
He gave the assurance to a delegation led by some MLAs from the Muslim community who called on him on Monday.
Nationalist Congress Party MLA Nawab Malik, who was part of the delegation, said the chief minister assured that Muslims will not face any injustice in the state.
The chief minister assuaged concerns of the community, saying the detention centre at Kharghar in Navi Mumbai was meant for foreign nationals involved in drug peddling cases, said Malik, whose party is an ally of the Thackeray-led Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government.
Only 38 people can be kept there (Kharghar detention centre). It is meant for foreign nationals following their release from jail, before they can be extradited to their country of origin, Malik said quoting the chief minister.
"People should not have any misunderstanding about the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. My government will not allow rights of citizens from any religion or community to be hurt. I appeal for peace and harmony in the state," the NCP leader said quoting the CM.
Maharashtra Home Minister Eknath Shinde, Industries Minister Subhash Desai, Director General of Police Subodh Jaiswal, Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjay Barve, Shiv Sena MLA Abdul Sattar and Congress MLA Amin Patel were also present on the occasion.
During a rally in New Delhi on Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused the Congress, its allies and "urban Naxals" of spreading the rumour that Muslims will be sent to detention centres.
"The citizenship law or the National Register of Citizens has nothing to do with Indian Muslims. They have nothing to worry," Modi said at the rally.
Former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday said his government had put up a proposal to set up a facility for temporary keeping of foreign nationals whose visas have expired.
"Yes. City and Industrial Development Corporation was asked to provide a land (in Navi Mumbai) to set up a centre for those foreigners who are found living in India beyond the visa expiry period. It is wrong to call such a facility a detention centre," he said.