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Chidambaram denies bias against Myanmar refugees

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram Wednesday denied any discrimination against Rohingya Muslim refugees from Myanmar on the basis of religion and said they would be dealt with as per guidelines.

Speaking during zero hour after some members expressed concern over the refugees who have been camping in the national capital the past few weeks, the home minister said they had come from different parts of India and most have been sent back.

He said the refugees had come from different cities of the country, and have been in India for a while. Nearly 700-800 families, 'due to some organised effort, converged outside the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), in the belief that refugee cards from the United Nations would give them some benefit', he added.

'Except a handful, all of them have gone back,' the home minister said.

After some members raised concern about the refugees being ill-treated on the basis of religion, the home minister outright denied the claim and said due procedure would be followed.

He, however, added that the refugees have neither sought asylum nor have they any valid visa or applied for it.

Hundreds of Rohingyas from Myanmar were camping near the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) office in the national capital, demanding refugee status. Locals had, however, complained against them as they were illegally occupying public space in the area.
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