No direction to provide EWS flats to Rohingya "illegal" migrants: HMO Clarifies

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In a recent order, the Supreme Court had refused to stay deportation of Rohingya refugees back to Myanmar and directed the Indian government to follow the prescribed procedure for their deportation. 

In view of the news reports published after the statement of Union Minister for Housing & Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri, the Office of Home Minister has clarified that the Ministry of Home Affairs has not given any directions to provide EWS flats to any illegal Rohingya migrants at Bakkarwala in New Delhi.

Earlier in the day, Puri had 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 (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) IDs & round-the-clock Delhi Police protection".

After Puri's statement, some media houses published news articles stating that all Rohingya Refugees in Delhi will get EWS flats and security in Delhi. 

Whereas, HMO's clarification states that no direction has been given to provide EWS flats to "Rohingya illegal migrants".

Furthermore, HMO clarified that the Government of Delhi proposed to shift the Rohingyas to a new location. MHA has directed the Delhi Government 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 the Ministry of External Affairs.

"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," HMO added.

It may also be noted that in an impleadment application written to the Chief Justice of India in an ongoing Rohingya refugee deportation matter, the impleader had picked out loopholes on the identification- verification and Refugee Status Determination (RSD) process of asylum seekers including Rohingyas in India by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). It has been alleged that UNHCR has falsely given all Rohingyas refugee status as the standard of proof used in the identification and verification process by the UNHCR is based on 'balance of probabilities' and 'preponderance of evidence', which is considered a weak standard of proof in India.