Explained: The row over accommodating Rohingyas in Delhi, all triggered by a tweet

The Indian government estimate puts the number of Rohingya Muslims in India at more than 40,000. AFP

The focus is back on Rohingya refugees in India. On Wednesday, Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri tweeted that all Rohingya migrants from Myanmar living in a camp in Delhi will be shifted to flats reserved for the Economically Weaker Section (EWS). However, soon after the government contradicted his statement, saying no such benefits have been announced.

This has now snowballed into a political controversy between the Centre and the Delhi government. We take a look at the uproar and who is saying what.

Who are the Rohingyas?

The Rohingya Muslims are one of Myanmar’s many ethnic minorities described by United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres as “one of, if not the, most discriminated people in the world”, according to a BBC report.

They have been persecuted for decades. A deadly crackdown by the Myanmar army on Rohingyas in August 2017 forced more than seven lakh people – about half of them children – to flee the country and cross over to neighbouring Bangladesh.

Rohingyas have sought refuge in India, Thailand, Indonesia, Nepal and other neighbouring countries in the region.

How many Rohingyas are in India?

There are about 16,000 Rohingya refugees in India, according to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). The Indian government estimate puts the number at more than 40,000 with most living in and around Jammu, according to a report in The Hindustan Times.

Last year, the Centre told the 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.

In early 2022, around 1,100 Rohingya lived in Delhi and another 17,000 elsewhere in India, working mainly as manual labourers, hawkers and rickshaw pullers, Rohingya rights activist Ali Johar told news agency Reuters.

What is the latest row?

On Wednesday, Puri announced a “landmark decision” to provide homes and security for Rohingya refugees in Myanmar.

“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,” 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. India respects & follows @UN Refugee Convention 1951 & provides refuge to all, regardless of their race, religion or creed,” he wrote in a follow-up tweet.

The tweets have now been deleted.

How did the government react?

The government, however, contracted the statement of its minister. A former diplomat, Hardeep Puri is the minister for housing, urban affairs and petroleum and natural gas.

After Puri’s tweets, the Union home ministry, which is headed by Amit Shah, put out a statement on its official Twitter account.

“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 ministry said on Twitter.

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.

— गृहमंत्री कार्यालय, HMO India (@HMOIndia) August 17, 2022

According to the home ministry, the Delhi government had proposed shifting Rohingyas to a new location but reiterated that the “Rohingya illegal foreigners” will continue staying where they were. It has also taken up the matter of their deportation “with concerned country through MEA”.

“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,” it said,

Most Rohingyas live in makeshift tents in the Capital.

What is the Delhi government saying?

The settlement of Rohingya Muslims has been a contentious issue for the BJP and AAP. Now the two have once again started a blame game.

Soon after Puri’s tweet, the Aam Aadmi Party lashed out at the Centre. AAP MLA Saurabh Bharadwaj said his party will not allow Rohingya migrants to settle in the national capital as they would become a threat to Delhiites in the future.

Further, taking a jibe at the Centre, Bhardwaj told the Centre to settle the Rohingyas in BJP-ruled states instead. This was before the statement from the Union ministry, which said that the fault lies with the Delhi government.

Why are the BJP and AAP at loggerheads?

The Centre then released a letter from 2021, claiming that it was the AAP government that wanted houses for the immigrant population, reports TimesNow. It had reportedly written to North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) and sought that Rohingya refugees be shifted to a new location in the national capital.

The Delhi BJP on Thursday continued to attack the Kejriwal government claiming its officials wrote letter after letter requesting that the “infiltrators” be provided EWS flats. The Kejriwal government has not provided even proper electricity connection to the Pakistani Hindu refugees living in a camp here, but it ensured proper accommodation, food and all other facilities for Rohingyas, claimed Delhi BJP president Adesh Gupta.

Explained: The row over accommodating Rohingyas in Delhi, all triggered by a tweet

The Centre wants to deport the refugees back to Myanmar. AFP

On Thursday, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia wrote a letter to Amit Shah and said some officials of the central and Delhi government “had hatched a conspiracy” and taken a decision on the issue without consultation.

He clarified that the Delhi government was against the move, adding that it had not been kept in the loop. “Delhi Home Minister and the Chief Minister were kept in the dark. I came to know about this from newspapers. I found out that there were some meetings and some decisions were taken,” Sisodia said in his letter, reports News18.

Earlier on Wednesday, Sisodia had said the Centre was “secretly” trying to give “permanent residence” to the refugees, rejecting the Union home ministry’s claim that it was the Delhi government’s proposal.

What has been India’s position in the past?

The Narendra Modi-led government has previously tried to repatriate the Rohingyas. Last year, the Supreme Court rejected a plea to stop the government from deporting to Myanmar some 150 Rohingya Muslims who were detained by the police.

Many Rohingyas in India carry identity cards issued by the UNHCR recognising them as refugees, but New Delhi is not a signatory to the United Nations Refugee Convention.

India also rejects a UN position that deporting the Rohingya violates the principle of refoulement, a forcible return of refugees to a country where they face danger, reports The Hindustan Times.

With inputs from agencies

Sonic Adventure 2 Soap Shoes bonus DLC announced for Sonic Frontiers

Joe Cordina 'gutted' after being stripped of IBF title without making a defence

BAFTA Tweaks TV Awards To Allow For More Women Directors & International Non-Scripted Shows

Fantasy Football waiver wire pickups, players to avoid for Week 5

Tributes to ‘lovely’ gran, 65, mauled to death by out-of-control dogs – as man is held & 5 American bulldogs destroyed

Duchess of Sussex criticises 'over sexualised' caricatures of Asian women in film

Book club with the Queen Consort! Camilla reveals her Royal Reading Room club will continue in her new role - as she picks Dracula in her latest selection of must-reads

Lawyers for marginalized sex workers set to argue against prostitution laws

As Triller prepares to go public, the TikTok rival battles gauntlet of lawsuits

‘Power Of The Dog’ Producer Tanya Seghatchian To Lead London Film Festival Jury; Luc Besson & James Gray Booked For Rome’s Talks Program; Banijay Completes Sony Germany Deal; Bert Habets Named ProSiebenSat.1 Media Group CEO; Neom To Host Asian Winter Games In 2029 — Global Briefs

Endorsement: Yes on Proposition ULA

Olivia Cooke: House of the Dragon star stuns in Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty campaign

Paul Flores ‘hunted’ Kristin Smart before killing her, prosecutor says

Get Your Omicron Booster Shot By This Date, White House Doctor Says — And it's Coming Up

Iran’s president appeals for national unity as anti-government protests continue

Russian court fines TikTok for not deleting LGBT content

NEWS RELATED

What Happened To Susan Blommaert After Leaving The Blacklist?

Lars Niki/Getty Images “The Blacklist” is full of interestingly shady characters that Red Reddington (James Spader) has encountered over the years. Some of them are Red’s direct adversaries and treated as such, while others have seen fit to ally themselves with the criminal mastermind. Kathryn “Mr. Kaplan” Nemec (Susan Blommaert) is ...

View more: What Happened To Susan Blommaert After Leaving The Blacklist?

Maniac shoves innocent straphanger onto NYC subway tracks: cops

A stranger shoved a 25-year-old man onto the roadbed at 14th Street-Union Square around 9:30 p.m. Monday, cops said. A stranger shoved an innocent Manhattan straphanger onto the tracks late Monday – but the victim was rescued by good Samaritans, cops said. The 25-year-old man was standing on the ...

View more: Maniac shoves innocent straphanger onto NYC subway tracks: cops

Louisiana Democrat gives birth in viral campaign ad

Louisiana congressional candidate Katie Darling, 36, is seen giving birth in viral ad targeting the state’s abortion ban Katie Darling for Louisiana A Democratic congressional candidate from Louisiana has gone viral for releasing a campaign ad featuring herself giving birth – as she took aim at the state’s strict ...

View more: Louisiana Democrat gives birth in viral campaign ad

Georgia Republican Herschel Walker denies that he paid for a girlfriend's abortion

Editor’s note:NPR has not independently verified this report. DUNWOODY, Ga. — Herschel Walker, who has vehemently opposed abortion rights as the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Georgia, paid for an abortion for his girlfriend in 2009, according to a new report published late Monday. The candidate called the ...

View more: Georgia Republican Herschel Walker denies that he paid for a girlfriend's abortion

Emotionally disturbed Brooklyn teen charged with stabbing sister to death in July

An emotionally disturbed teen has been charged with stabbing his sister to death at their home in Brooklyn in July, police said Tuesday. The 17-year-old suspect, whose name was not released because of his age, allegedly stabbed his 26-year-old sister, Shanelle Colquhoun, in the neck and arms the night of ...

View more: Emotionally disturbed Brooklyn teen charged with stabbing sister to death in July

Who are the Rangers’ best options to keep their depleted penalty-killing unit at the top of its game?

Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post; Jason Szenes (2) Special teams were an integral part of the Rangers’ success last season, when the club finished among the NHL’s top 10 on the power play and penalty kill. The Blueshirts had the fourth-highest success rate on the power play at 25.2 percent ...

View more: Who are the Rangers’ best options to keep their depleted penalty-killing unit at the top of its game?

Manhattan apartment sales fell 18 percent in latest quarter as interest rates soared

Manhattan residential real estate sales dipped by more than 18% in the third quarter, according to a report. Getty Images/iStockphoto Apartment sales in Manhattan dipped by 18% in the third quarter as higher interest rates on mortgages and the struggling stock market take their toll on New York real ...

View more: Manhattan apartment sales fell 18 percent in latest quarter as interest rates soared

Tim Cook reveals the four qualities he looks for in new Apple employees

GettyImages-1421759579.jpg Tim Cook has revealed the four traits he looks for in prospective Apple employees during his 11-year tenure as chief executive of the smartphone giant. Mr Cook told graduates from the University of Naples Federico II, in Italy, that Apple seeks employees with creativity, curiosity, expertise, and the ability ...

View more: Tim Cook reveals the four qualities he looks for in new Apple employees

Amazon Studios Partners With Latino Film Institute And LA Collab To Help Redefine Hollywood Pipeline

This illusion shows this engagement ring to look different after 30 seconds - what colour gemstone do you see?

What is 'sponti-dating' and how could it fast track your hunt for love?

The CSI: NY Character You Are Based On Your Zodiac Sign

VeeFriends Toys Coming to Macy’s, Toys'R'Us As NFT Brand Expands

3 physicists share Nobel Prize for work on quantum science

Head of PlayStation Studios Malaysia gives us an office tour, and it looks amazing

BRIEF-Soccer-Wigan versus Bolton match postponed due to weather

Kim Kardashian charged by SEC over crypto post

Record-setting gas prices show California’s worsening energy vulnerabilities

Who are the NFL’s legit contenders and where do the Giants and Jets fit in?

AEW can’t keep going on like this

OTHER NEWS

Breaking thailand news, thai news, thailand news Verified News Story Network