PR botch-up: Detention Centre presented as EWS housing for Rohingyas

Bharat Bhushan

For a few hours it seemed the government had had a change of heart towards Rohingya migrants with Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Puri’s announcement that 1100 Rohingya migrants living in Delhi would be given government housing. Within seven hours, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) overuled the initiative. It clarified that Rohingya migrants would remain in their existing camps, awaiting deportation to Myanmar. Bharat Bhushan writes.

Puri’s early morning tweet on July 17 had suggested that India welcomed the Rohingyas: ”India has always welcomed those who have sought refuge in the country. In a landmark decision all #Rohingya #Refugees will be shifted to EWS [Economically Weaker Sections] flats in Bakkarwala area of Delhi. They will be provided basic amenities, UNHCR IDs and round-the-clock @Delhi Police protection.” He even tagged the prime minister in his tweet. Further he claimed: “Those who made a career out of spreading canards on India’s refugee policy deliberately linking it to #CAA will be disappointed. India respects and follows @UN Refugee Convention 1951 and provides refuge to all, regardless of their race, religion or creed.” A “senior official” elaborating on the initiative said, “all 1100 Rohingyas currently residing in the Madanpur Khadar camp will be accommodated.”…