The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) clarified on Wednesday that no directions had been given by it to provide flats meant for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) to Rohingyas present in India. The ministry said media reports had made this claim. The media reports mostly followed what Hardeep Puri, the Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs, and Petroleum and Natural Gas had tweeted earlier in the day, saying Rohingya refugees will be moved to flats in the Bakkarwala area of Delhi.
The Ministry of Home Affairs in a series of tweets refuted what was said by Puri. "With respect to news reports in certain sections of media regarding Rohingya illegal foreigners, it is clarified that Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has not given any directions to provide EWS flats to Rohingya illegal migrants at Bakkarwala in New Delhi," it said.
The clarification added that while the Delhi government had suggested that the Rohingya refugees be moved to another location, that was not happening. "Govt of Delhi proposed to shift the Rohingyas to a new location. MHA has directed the GNCTD to ensure that the Rohingya illegal foreigners will continue at the present location as MHA has already taken up the matter of their deportation with the concerned country through MEA," the MHA said.
It said according to law, "illegal foreigners" had to be kept in detentions centres before being deported and urged the Delhi government to declare the "present location" of the Rohingyas as a detentions centre.
These tweets have come hours after Puri's tweets, with the MHA disputing tweets by its own minister. Puri's tweets in the early hours of Wednesday said, "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."
The tweet had also tagged the official handle of the Prime Minister's Office. Puri further said, "Those who made a career out of spreading canards on India's refugee policy deliberately linking it to #CAA will be disappointed. India respects & follows @UN Refugee Convention 1951 & provides refuge to all, regardless of their race, religion or creed."
The Modi government has made efforts to repatriate the Rohingyas who are a minority community in Myanmar. Over a thousand of them live in tents in Delhi's Madanpur Khadar and Kalindi Kunj. Fires in 2021 and 2018 destroyed their makeshift homes, and they have since been living in tents provided by the Delhi government.
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