U-Turn: Centre Says No Plan To Keep Rohingyas After Furore Over Puri

NEW DELHI | Updated: 17 August, 2022 5:50 pm IST

The central government on Wednesday refuted media reports claiming that it was planning to provide low-cost flats to “Rohingya illegal migrants” in the Bakkarwala area of Delhi.

In a statement, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said that the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government had proposed to shift the Rohingyas to a new location.

“With respect to news reports in certain sections of the media regarding Rohingya illegal foreigners, it is clarified that MHA has not given any directions to provide EWS (economically weaker section) flats to Rohingya illegal migrants at Bakkarwala in New Delhi,” it said.

The ministry has directed the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government to ensure that the “Rohingya illegal foreigners will continue at the present location at Kanchan Kunj in Delhi’s Madanpur Khadar”.

MHA has already taken up the matter of deportation of “illegal foreigners with the concerned country” through the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), it further stated.

According to the law, illegal foreigners are kept in detention centres until their deportation to their native country. The ministry has directed the Delhi government to declare the colonies of Rohingya refugees as detention centres, it said.

The clarification came hours after Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri, a former diplomat who now holds the Housing and Urban Affairs and Petroleum and Natural Gas portfolios, informed his 8.35 lakh strong Twitter followers that the Centre would provide all basic amenities in the EWS flats.

“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 the Bakkarwala area of Delhi. They will be provided basic amenities, UNHCR IDs & round-the-clock @DelhiPolice protection,” he tweeted.

“Those who made a career out of spreading canards on India’s refugee policy deliberately linking it to #CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) will be disappointed,” Puri further said.

India respects and follows the United Nations Refugee Convention 1951 and provides refuge to all, regardless of their race, religion or creed, the minister summed up.

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