New Delhi: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Wednesday denied giving any direction to provide EWS flats to Rohingya Muslims in Delhi and said they should remain where they are currently located. The MHA further asked the Arvind Kejriwal government to declare the present site where the illegal foreigners stay as a detention centre.
“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,” an MHA spokesperson said.
The illegal Rohingya migrants are to stay in the detention centres until their deportation as per the law, said the Home Ministry. The MHA said it has already taken up the matter of their deportation with the country concerned through the Ministry of External Affairs.
“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 spokesperson said.
Earlier today, Union Minister Hardeep Singh said that all the Rohingya refugees would be shifted to EWS flats in Bakkarwala area of Delhi and provided basic amenities, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) IDs & round-the-clock Delhi Police protection. “India has always welcomed those who have sought refuge in the country,” he wrote on Twitter.
India currently houses an estimated 40,000 Rohingya are in India, at least 20,000 of whom are registered with UNHCR, according to a report by the Human Rights Watch (HRW).
The Rohingyas, an ethnic community of Muslims from Rakhine State in Myanmar, became stateless in 1982 after the Buddhist-majority country denied them citizenship. Myanmar claimed their original ancestry was from Bangladesh. After facing years of military crackdowns, the Rohingya Muslims were driven out of Myanmar between 2016 and 2018, in what was termed as ethnic cleansing.
Around 900,000 Rohingyas have taken refuge in overcrowded camps in Bangladesh, while at least 600,000 still remain in Rakhine State, where they continue to face government persecution.
(With PTI inputs)