The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Wednesday made it clear 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.
The MHA also said the Rohingya illegal foreigners are to be kept in detention centres until their deportation as per the law and the Delhi government has been directed to declare the current site of their stay as 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,” a ministry spokesperson said.
According to an estimate of the Home Ministry, around 40,000 Rohingya migrants live in different parts of the country, including Delhi.
Noting that the Delhi government proposed to shift the Rohingya Muslims to a new location, the Home Ministry said it has directed the Delhi government to ensure that the Rohingya illegal foreigners remain at their present location as 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 in the day, Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri said Rohingya refugees will be shifted to apartments in Bakkarwala in outer Delhi and will also be provided basic amenities and police protection.
The EWS (economically weaker section) flats have been constructed by the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) and are located in the Bakkarwala area near Tikri border. The NDMC functions under the Home Ministry.
“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 Delhi Police protection,” Puri tweeted.
Last year, the government had informed Rajya Sabha that illegal Rohingya immigrants are staying in 12 States and Union Territories — Jammu and Kashmir, Telangana, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Assam, Karnataka and Kerala.
Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai had said the government got reports that Rohingya Musilms have indulged in illegal activities in the country.
He said all foreign nationals who enter into the country without valid travel documents are treated as illegal migrants.
The minister said detection and deportation of illegal migrants, including Rohingya refugees from Myanmar, after due process of nationality verification is a continuous process.