Delhi BJP chief Adesh Gupta writes again to Mayors of East and South Delhi asking them to take action against ‘illegal encroachment’ by the Rohingya

Published : Apr 29, 2022 14:44 IST

A Rohingya refugee camp in New Delhi, a file photograph.

A Rohingya refugee camp in New Delhi, a file photograph.

Delhi Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Chief Adesh Gupta, on whose suggestion action was taken in Jahangirpuri by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation, has written more letters to the Mayors of South and East Delhi corporations to act against encroachers. He tweeted, “Wrote to mayors and commissioners of South and East corporations asking them to take strict action by using bulldozer against illegal encroachment on government land by Bangladeshi, Rohingya and anti-social elements in their areas.” He added that anti-social elements who are supported by the local Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders have encroached upon large parts of areas under East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) and South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) jurisdiction. “Identify these illegal encroachments and use bulldozers to demolish them and take strict action at the earliest,” he wrote.

Aam Aadmi Party leaders retaliated by blaming the BJP for “illegally settling foreigners from the minority community in the country”. Manish Sisodia, Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, said in a press conference: “In the last eight years, the BJP has got Bangladeshis and Rohingyas illegally settled in different parts of the country. Why were they settled in the country? These people have been settled along with BJP’s own people. After getting them settled, riots are conducted as per a script.”  Other AAP leaders such as Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament Raghav Chadha and Member of Legislative Assembly Atishi repeated these charges.

Since February 1, 2021, the total number of internally displaced persons in Myanmar has risen to about 505,000, according to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre.  More than 40,000 people have escaped to India since the junta seized control. Thousands of these people have registered themselves as refugees under the mandate of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), New Delhi, according to the Australia Myanmar Institute for Democracy, Human Rights and Peace. The institute has urged the Indian government to issue exit permits for families whose cases have been processed by the embassies for resettlement in another country. This process has been stalled, delayed or postponed for some reason. Besides, if India fails to shelter refugees and establish fair asylum processes to allow the UNHCR to make refugee decisions, it would be a violation of the Indian government's international legal obligations.

On February 22, the Committee Representing the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) and National Unity Government (NUG) Support Group-India wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar “to stop pushing back people seeking refuge in India or attempting to cross the border when it is clear their lives are in danger and provide protection to the refugees given the humanitarian crisis in Myanmar”.

The Rohingya refugees maintain that they have nothing to do with Indian politics and have requested the government to allow them to live peaceful lives in the country and contribute to the economy in meaningful ways.

The new politicking over the community in order to polarise the vote bank and create communal tensions by the BJP in India portents ominous consequences for the community who are the poorest of the poor with nowhere else to go.

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