A two-judge bench of the Patna High Court has ordered the Nitish Kumar-led Bihar government to present before the Patna HC information regarding the foreign migrants living illegally in the state in two weeks’ time, Hindustan reported.
The Patna HC has also asked the state government when and where does it plan to construct a permanent detention center in the state.
Furthermore, the court has also sought information about the efforts the government was undertaking around the issue of illegal foreigners. It has questioned the state government about its strategy to make the local people living in the state aware of the issue. In this regard, Patna HC has ordered the government to publish advertisements about the issue of illegal foreigners in newspapers.
The Patna HC bench which consisted of Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice S. Kumar asked the state government to provide the court with details about the facilities that will be available to the ‘illegal foreigners at the permanent detention center.
Among various directions that the Patna High Court gave to the state government, it has asked that the government must also inform the local people about avenues to complain and give information about foreigners living illegally in the state.
The issue of citizenship and the potential of deliberate misuse of the Indian state and judiciary’s emphasis on marking out ‘illegal’ foreigners and putting them in detention centers have been questioned for a long time and gained traction in recent times with NRC and CAA becoming a reality.
Activists and experts have expressed concern about these developments explaining that the process of identifying illegal migrants can be violent towards the working-class population of the country that will be at the risk being of categorised as ‘illegal’ because of a lack of identification papers.
Similarly with the far-right BJP in power in the Union government and in alliance in the Bihar government, the one group that will be particularly attacked in the name of ‘illegal migrant’ is the Muslim community, that the party and RSS have always presented as the ‘other’.