Hours after being contradicted by his own government on providing housing and security to Rohingyas living in Delhi’s Madanpur Khadar, Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri’s tweets paved the way for a new spat between the Centre and the Delhi government.
The AAP administration has been accused by the Union Home Ministry of delaying the declaration of the neighbourhood where the Rohingya refugees reside as a “detention centre,” while the Delhi government has accused the Centre of “secretly” attempting to provide “permanent residence” to Rohingya refugees in the nation’s capital.
Below are 5 instances when the Union government and the Home Minister took a stand against giving refuge to the Rohingya refugees:
Home Ministry: Rohingya refugees a serious threat to national security
18th September, 2018
The Union Home Ministry filed a 16 page affidavit in the Supreme Court on 18th September, 2018 stating that it feared of violence by “radicalised Rohingyas” against Buddhists living in India. Among other things, the Union Home Ministry viewed the Rohingya refugees as a serious threat to national security claiming that several members have links to militant groups including the ISI and ISIS. The Government also claimed that several Rohingya members were indulging in illegal activities like “mobilisation of funds through hundi/hawala channels, procuring fake/fabricated Indian identity documents for other Rohingyas and indulging in human trafficking.”
Rajnath Singh: Rohingyas are illegal immigrants, will be deported
21st September, 2018
Addressing a seminar organised by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), then Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that Rohingyas are illegal Immigrants who will be deported and not asylum seekers. Rajnath Singh went on to say ““The Home Ministry has clarified its position through its affidavit (in Supreme Court) that these are illegal immigrants and they will be deported. The Rohingyas are not refugees. There is a procedure to get refugee status and none of them followed this procedure. No Rohingya has got asylum in India nor has anyone applied for it. They are illegal immigrants.”
Shah: Illegal immigrants are like termites
12th April, 2019
Speaking at a campaign rally in West Bengal as the general election kicked off, then BJP President Amit Shah referred to illegal immigrants as “termites”. Shah, who was not the Union Home Minister then said in a rally ““Infiltrators are like termites in the soil of Bengal”. Campaigning for his own party, he added “A Bharatiya Janata Party government will pick up infiltrators one by one and throw them into the Bay of Bengal.” Shah received widespread criticism for his comment from several ministers of the opposition parties and several minority groups in the country. Shah reiterated his stance on giving citizenship to Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs from Bangladesh and Pakistan, but said they were already already working on deporting an estimated 40,000 Rohingya Muslims living in the country after fleeing Buddhist-majority Myanmar.
Shah: Will never accept Rohingya refugees
9th December, 2019
Speaking at a debate in the Parliament concerning the Citizenship Amendment Bill in the Lok Sabha, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said “Rohingya people come through Bangladesh. Rohingya people will never be accepted.” After pointing out the data of minorities in neighbouring countries, Amit Shah went on to say that “There is a difference between a refugee and an infiltrator. Those who come here due to persecution, to save their religion and the honour of the women of their family, they are refugees and those who come here illegally are infiltrators.”
Shah: Ask in writing for the removal of Rohingyas, then see Centre’s response
20th November, 2020
Speaking at a campaign rally in Hyderabad ahead of the civic polls, Amit Shah challenged AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi to seek the eviction of Bangladeshis and Rohingya from the country in writing. Speaking at the rally, Shah said “Whenever the matter of Bangladeshis and Rohingyas is discussed in the Parliament, who takes their side? People know it.” He further added that “When I take action, they create a ruckus in the Parliament. Have you not seen how loud he cries? Tell them to give in writing that Bangladeshis and Rohingyas have to be evicted. I will do it. Only talking about it during the election is not sufficient. When the matter of evicting them is discussed in the Parliament, who takes their side? The people of this country know it. People have seen it on live TV.”
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