New Delhi: Rohingya refugees in the capital New Delhi will be held at a detention center and then deported, India’s Home Ministry said Wednesday, contradicting a minister’s earlier statement promising flats with police protection for the members of the Muslim minority.
Hardeep Singh Puri, federal minister for housing and urban affairs, had earlier on Wednesday outlined new provisions for the Rohingya, signaling a potential change in the government’s critical stance toward the refugee group from Myanmar. Rohingya refugees would be allotted flats in western Delhi’s Bakkarwala area, provided basic amenities and given round-the-clock police protection, Puri had said on Twitter. But, just hours after Puri’s tweets, the federal home ministry said in a statement that “Rohingya illegal foreigners” would remain at a locality in the city’s southern reaches as authorities worked to deport them.
“Illegal foreigners are to be kept in the detention center till their deportation as per law,” the home ministry said in a statement. “The Government of Delhi has not declared the present location as a detention center. They have been directed to do the same immediately.” Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has previously tried to repatriate members of the Rohingya, who are a minority community in Buddhist-majority Myanmar. Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya have fled from persecution and waves of violence in their homeland over the years, mainly to Bangladesh.