Centre was secretly trying to give permanent residence to Rohingyas in Delhi: Sisodia


The BJP-led Centre was “secretly” trying to give “permanent residence” to Rohingya refugees in the national capital, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Wednesday alleged, rejecting the Union home ministrys claim that it was the Delhi governments proposal.

He also said the Centre was in the morning calling the move to shift Rohingyas to EWS category flats in the city as its “achievement”, but later started shifting the blame on the Delhi government after the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) opposed it. Sisodia alleged that the Delhi Police and some officials had taken the decision to provide the Rohingyas permanent residence in the city on the instructions of Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena and at the behest of the Union government.

“The Central government in connivance with the Delhi LG has hatched a conspiracy to permanently settle Rohingyas in Delhi,” he charged. He said the file noting on this issue “clearly” shows how officers were instructed to send the file to the LG, bypassing the elected Government of Delhi, he said.

“The Centre ordered the officers of the Delhi government, Delhi Police, FRRO and forced the Chief Secretary to chair the meeting and take the decision, while ensuring that the elected government of Delhi and its chief minister or the Dy CM in-charge of Home department remain uninformed of the meeting and the decision,” he added The Kejriwal dispensation will not let this “conspiracy” to illegally settle Rohingyas in Delhi succeed, he asserted. Amid a row over the issue, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued a clarification denying any such move and said the Delhi government had proposed to shift the Rohingyas to a new location, but it has been directed to ensure the “illegal foreigners” remain in detention centres pending their extradition.

Reacting to the ministrys statement, Sisodia said in a tweet in Hindi, “The central government, which was not tired of describing the news (about shifting of Rohingyas) as its achievement in the morning, has now started putting the responsibility of it on the Delhi government after the Aam Aadmi Party opposed such a step. “Whereas it is a fact that the central government was secretly trying to give permanent residence to the Rohingyas in Delhi,” he added.

In another tweet, Sisodia said, “At the behest of the central government and on the instruction of the L-G, the officers and the police took decision (to shift Rohingyas) and it (the proposal) was being sent to L-G for his approval, without bringing it to the knowledge of the chief minister and home minister of Delhi. “The Delhi government will not let this conspiracy to illegally settle Rohingyas in Delhi succeed,” he added. Sisodia dubbed the Home Ministrys clarification as Centres “U-turn” on the issue and accused the Union government of “outrightly conspiring” against the safety and security of the national capital and the country. “The way Congress used to convert Bangladeshi settlers into their vote bank, the Modi Government is also doing the same thing by settling Rohingyas in Delhi,” he charged.

A political row erupted after 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.

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.

“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.

“Those who made a career out of spreading canards on Indias refugee policy deliberately linking it to CAA will be disappointed. India respects & follows UN Refugee Convention 1951 & provides refuge to all, regardless of their race, religion or creed,” Puri said in another tweet.

The ruling AAP in Delhi slammed the Centre over the move and termed shifting of Rohingyas a “big threat” to national security and Delhiites, saying it will not allow it to happen at any cost.

“With the ministers announcement, the BJP government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi stands exposed today… This poses a big threat to the national security and to the Delhiites as well,” AAP chief spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj told a press conference. Bhardwaj said the prime minister may consider settling the refugees down in any of the BJP-ruled states if he wants.

“Give EWS flats, bungalows or whatever you want. We wont allow allocation of flats to them in Delhi at all,” he added. According to an official document, there were several communications between the NDMC and Delhi government with regard to making arrangements for Rohingyas at EWS flats in Bakkarwala since August last year.

As per the decisions taken at a meeting presided over by the chief secretary on July 29 this year, NDMC was directed to handover 240 EWS flats to FRRO after completion of water supply and other basic amenities. “It was also decided that a detailed self contained note may be put up to bring the issue to the notice of the LG by the Delhi home department, the official note read.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Federal staff and is auto-published from a syndicated feed.)