Rohingya Huts Demolished, Damaged at Delhi’s Kanchan Kunj Refugee Camp

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Hutments belonging to Rohingya refugees were damaged at Kanchan Kunj (Madanpur Khadar) refugee camp in Delhi.

There are also reports that recently some goons visited the camp and threatened to set fire to the shelters.

Waquar Hasan | Clarion India

NEW DELHI – One hut belonging to Rohingya refugees was demolished while two others were damaged at Kanchan Kunj (Madanpur Khadar) refugee camp in Delhi by the Uttar Pradesh administration on Tuesday.

The land on which the camp is set up belongs to Delhi as well as UP governments. The officials who targeted the huts claimed that huts were built on ‘encroached’ lands, according to Rohingya refugees residing there.

Mohammed Shakir, a resident of the camp, told Clarion India that the local administration descended there and started removing the huts without any notice. No time was given to remove even the belongings, he said.

“They were saying that it’s a government’s order. This is our land. We have to secure that area,” Shakir said.

The hut which was razed to the ground belonged to Mohammed Sharif, who along with his family, is in a detention centre since March. No one was in the hut when it was demolished.

The officials who targeted the huts claimed that huts were built on ‘encroached’ lands.

The Rohingya refugees are passing through a difficult time in the capital. At least 18 of them are in detention for last one month. A fortnight ago, officials of FRRO with assistance from the Delhi Police detained a Rohingya family of four from Kanchen Kunj camp. Those detained were 80-year-old Sultan Ahmad, his wife Halima Hatu and their two sons Noor Mohammad and Usman Gani. They were picked up and taken to a detention camp near Shastri Park metro station.

In a similar operation a week before that, FRRO aided by local police picked up 12, seven male and five female refugees including a pregnant lady.

Rohingya activists said that the detained refugees possessed valid UNHCR cards.

The FRRO operations have sparked a panic among the refugees. “Police come here every now and then and ask us to vacate the camp,” said a woman refugee in Kanchen Kunj camp. “We are facing a tough time this year.”

There are also reports that recently some goons visited the camp and threatened to set fire to the shelters.

The recent detentions are seen as part of a crackdown against Rohingya refugees who India considers as “illegal immigrants”. India wants to deport them to Myanmar from where they had fled after cases of large-scale persecution. The country is currently passing through a new wave of violence following military coup in early February.

In March, authorities in Jammu and Kashmir detained more than 160 refugees from their camps and lodged them in a jail in Hiranagar.

Subsequently, nearly 80 refugees who travelled from Jammu to Delhi seeking protection from the United Nations Refugee Agency were rounded up and put in detention centres.

The crackdown has prompted human rights lawyers to approach the Supreme Court calling for release of the detained refugees.

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