The Home Ministry on Wednesday denied Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri's tweet that Rohingya refugees would be allotted apartments and provided police protection
“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.''
The clarification from the Home Ministry came within a few hoyrs of Union Minister Puri tweeting that India has always welcomed those have sought refuge and announcing on Twitter, “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.” He also said the country respects and follows U.N. Refugee Convention 1951 and provides refuge to all, regardless of their race, religion or creed.
The Home Ministry clarified that it had only directed the GNCTD (Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi) to ensure that Rohingya the Rohingya illegal foreigners will continue at the present location at Kanchan Kunj, Madanpur Khadar as MHA has already taken up the matter of deportation of illegal foreigners with the concerned country.
“Illegal foreigners are to be kept in 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 Home Ministry said referring Rohingya Muslims as “illegal foreigners” and not as “refugees”.
News reports quoting figures of this year said that the national capital is home to around 1,100 Rohingya. Quoting estimates from Rohingya rights activist, Ali Johar, news reports said that another 17,000 Rohingyas are living elsewhere in India and many of them are working as manual labourers, hawkers and rickshaw pullers. According to Johar, some 2,000 people went back to Bangladesh this year, amid fears many would be deported.