UP drops plan to turn SC/ST hostel in Ghaziabad into its first detention centre

The moves comes in the wake of BSP chief Mayawati calling the government “anti-Dalit” since the detention centre was being built in one wing of the now-vacant hostel.

Uttar Pradesh’s first detention centre for those violating visa norms will not come up in Ghaziabad.

The UP government Thursday reversed its decision to use the building — originally constructed as a hostel for SC/ST students — as a detention centre, its first such centre in the state for illegal foreigners.

The moves comes in the wake of BSP chief Mayawati calling the government “anti-Dalit” since the detention centre was being built in one wing of the now-vacant hostel.

The Dr Ambedkar Hostel for SC/ST Students was built in 2010-11 during Mayawati’s tenure as chief minister. The hostel is situated close to the Delhi-Meerut Highway. In the beginning, students from west UP and adjoining areas would take up accommodation in the hostel. For the past five years, the hostel has been lying vacant, said officials.

The renovation of the detention centre was nearing completion and it was likely to be operational by next month.

According to a senior administrative official, the building has been reverted to its original status of the hostel. Initially, one wing was being converted into a detention centre to house those violating visa norms. The centre was due to be managed by the district’s social welfare department. So far, no decision has been made on the location of a new detention centre in the district.

“Converting the multi storey Dr Ambedkar Hostel SC/ST hostel built by BSP government in Ghaziabad as UP’s first detention centre for ‘illegal foreigners’ is extremely sad and condemnable. This is another proof of the anti Dalit style of government. The BSP demands it should be taken back”, said Mayawati in a tweet on Thursday.

The centre was supposed to have a capacity of 100-120 detainees in its three floors.

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