Highlights

  • Around 1100 Rohingyas live in temporary settlements in Delhi
  • Home Ministry on Wednesday announced that no flats will be given to Rohingyas
  • Union Minister Hardeep Puri had earlier announed EWS flats for Rohingyas

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Confusion over 'Rohingya re-settlement', Centre issues clarification

The United Nations has accused Myanmar of ethnic cleansing in Rakhine area. As a result of violence, about 5 lakh Rohingyas fled to Bangladesh, and approximately 40,000 moved to India.

Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri's tweet stating that Rohingya migrants staying in temporary settlements in Delhi will be shifted to flats meant for economically weaker sections in Bakkarwal area triggered a controversy with BJP being accused of going back on its stance on the Myanmar refugees.

Puri had tweeted on Wednesday morning, ‘India has always welcomed those who have sought refuge in the country. In a landmark decision all #Rohingya #Refugees will be shifted to EWS flats in Bakkarwala area of Delhi. They will be provided basic amenities, UNHCR IDs & round-the-clock @DelhiPolice protection.'

In a second tweet, the union minister for Housing, Urban Affairs shared a news report stating the same.

The tweets led to AAP hitting out at the Modi govt which has maintained that Rohingya refugees are a threat to the nation and accusing it going back on its stand. The party said that it would not let the govt allocate any flats to the Rohingyas citing security threat.

The controversy led to the Home Ministry issuing a clarification that it had not given any directions to provide flats to Rohingya Muslims in Delhi and asked the Arvind Kejriwal government to ensure the illegal foreigners remained at their present location.

'With respect to news reports in certain sections of media regarding Rohingya illegal foreigners, it is clarified that the MHA has not given any directions to provide EWS flats to Rohingya illegal migrants at Bakkarwala in New Delhi,' according to a ministry statement.

'The illegal foreigners are to be kept in the detention centre till their deportation as per law. The government of Delhi has not declared the present location as a detention centre. They have been directed to do the same immediately,' the statement further read.

The Home Ministry in its statement also said that it was the Govt of Delhi that had proposed shifting of Rohingya refugees to a new location.

ReadMore:- Centre issues new guidelines for dealing with crimes against SCs, STs: all you need to know

In a press conference held by BJP, its spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia said the decision to shift Rohingyas was taken at meeting held on July 29 that was chaired by the Chief Secretary of Delhi.

He added "the law of our country says that Rohingyas will be deported and this jurisdiction lies with the Ministry of Home Affairs." The Modi government has a clear policy that there will be no compromise on national security, he said.

The AAP in return accused to the Modi govt of trying to pin blame on Delhi govt after facing flak. Delhi Deputy Chief Minister said that the Centre was trying to give permanent residence to Rohingyas secretly. He added that the decision taken during July 29 meeting was at the behest of the Centre.

The rehabilitation of Rohingya Muslims has been a controversial issue in India. BJP has often used the subject of 'illegal migration' to amass votes.

Also watch: Tip us on Rohingyas, illegal Bangladeshis: BJP asks Delhi locals, promises bulldozer drives

Rohingya, an ethnic group with a predominantly Muslim population hails from Western Myanmar province of Rakhine. They speak Bengali, not the commonly spoken Burmese language.

The United Nations has accused Myanmar of ethnic cleansing in Rakhine area. As a result of violence, about 5 lakh Rohingyas fled to Bangladesh, and approximately 40,000 moved to India.

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