Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia wrote to Union Home Minister Amit Shah Thursday, saying the elected government of Delhi was not kept in the loop about the decision to send Rohingya refugees to EWS flats in Bakkarwala, and that it was opposed to any permanent or temporary houses being given to “Bangladeshi Rohingya” in Delhi.
The letter comes a day after Union minister Hardeep Puri tweeted that Rohingya “refugees” would be provided housing and police protection in Delhi. The Ministry of Home Affairs, however, said the illegal immigrants couldn’t be moved and are to be deported soon.
Officials told The Indian Express that the FRRO, which comes under the MHA, had written to the Delhi government, asking for a space to create a detention centre to shift the Rohingya refugees. After several meetings, held over a year, it was decided that the NDMC would provide the EWS flats at Bakkarwala.
Sisodia, in his letter, wrote that the elected government was neither taken into confidence nor informed of the move. “I am shocked… In Delhi’s Home Department, police-related decisions are taken by the Centre… Officers from the Centre as well as the Delhi Police were present in the meeting held on July 29, which was chaired by the Delhi Chief Secretary. The file was to be sent directly to the L-G, not keeping the elected government or ministers in the loop,” he wrote.
He also said that if the decision to move the Rohingya to Bakkarwala was taken without the knowledge of the Centre, an enquiry should be ordered. “It should be investigated who in the Centre, along with Delhi government officers, was taking this decision keeping the elected government of Delhi out of the loop, and at whose behest,” he wrote.
Earlier, during a press conference, when asked if the Delhi government is against giving flats to the Rohingya or against having the refugees in Delhi at all, Sisodia said, “Rohingya and illegal occupants, who are living in the country violating the rules of the country, have to be dealt with by the Centre.”
Union Information and Broadcasting Minister and BJP leader Anurag Thakur, meanwhile, Thursday said national security is of utmost importance to the Modi government and illegal migrants will not be given shelter in the country. He said the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government was ready to compromise national security for vote bank politics.
“Rohingya who live here are illegal migrants who are given free water, electricity, ration; now even free flats were to be given to them by the Delhi government,” the Minister said, addressing reporters at his residence in New Delhi.
“Kejriwal will have to answer why this was being done by his officials, what is his compulsion,” he added, brandishing an official letter written by Delhi government officials on June 23, 2021, mentioning the allotment of EWS flats in Bakkarwala to Rohingya.
The letter, which was sent by the Home Department to NDMC, also states that the Foreigners Regional Registration Office, which comes under the Ministry of Home Affairs, has written to the government, seeking a place to create a detention centre for which the EWS flats at Bakkarwala were chosen.
Calling the Chief Minister a “jhooth mantri”, Thakur said, “Kejriwal should answer why he hasn’t been able to decide upon a place for creating a detention centre for illegal immigrants in the capital. Will the Delhi CM now wake up and respond?”
“They have lied again, distributed ‘revdis (freebies)’,” Thakur said, adding that the Home Ministry had instructed the Delhi government time and again not to move Rohingya out of their temporary shelters and create detention centres for them.