What is the Rohingyas' residential flats controversy in India?
A controversy erupted on Wednesday over the proposed allocation of Economically Weaker Section (EWS) flats to Rohingya refugees, prompting outrage on social media and a clarification from the Union Home Ministry.
While this announcement was welcomed by many, it sparked widespread outrage on social media. People were not only outraged, but also perplexed by this announcement.
Let's take a look at how this controversy developed and how the government responded.
How did the controversy arise?
Earlier in the day, Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri tweeted that Rohingya refugees would be relocated to EWS (Economically Weaker Section) flats in Delhi's Bakkarwala neighbourhood, where they would be provided with basic amenities.
Taking aim at political opponents, he stated that those who have made a career out of spreading myths about India's refugee policy and linking it to CAA will be disappointed.
Reactions from political parties
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) also seized on the contentious issue, objecting to the proposed settlement of Rohingya migrants and accusing the Centre of 'lopsided policy." It also accused the government of ignoring the plight of persecuted Hindu refugees from Pakistan and Bangladesh.
According to reports, over 1,000 Rohingya refugees are living in tents throughout the national capital.
Their deportation and settlement has been a contentious issue for the BJP and its opponents. During elections, the saffron party goes on the offensive against Congress governments, accusing them of infiltration, while the latter denies it and accuses the BJP of contaminating the atmosphere by pandering to a specific voter base.
Clarification from the Indian government
The Indian Home Ministry clarified in a tweet that there was no proposal to provide government flats to Rohingya illegal migrants. It also stated that illegal migrants will be deported and will be held in deportation centres until that happens.
"The government of Delhi has not declared the present location as a detention centre. They have been directed to do the same immediately," tweeted Home Ministry.