New Delhi, July 9: Fighting against the quest of Rohingya refugees, India fulfilling its promise made in 2017 handed over houses to Myanmar authorities on Tuesday. The deal cracked between India and Myanmar was seen for the development of Rakhine state in the aftermath of the violence and the ensuing exodus of the persecuted Rohingya community in August 2017.
India has put together 250 pre-fabricated houses in three villages in the Northern Rakhine region. Out of the 250 houses, 148 units have come up in the Shwe Zar village, 60 in Kyein Chaung village and 42 in Nan Thar Taung. All three villages are in Maungdaw district. 50 houses were handed over by President Kovind in December, 2018. The remaining will be handed over by Ambassador Saurabh Kumar on Tuesday.
The $25 million Rakhine State Development Programme focused on providing a sustainable solution in the violence-torn Rakhine state for socio-economic development. In its September, 2017 statement on the situation in the Rakhine state the Ministry of External Affairs had said, “We would urge that the situation in Rakhine State be handled with restraint and maturity, focussing on the welfare of the civilian population alongside those of the security forces.”
However, the government had faced criticism from rights groups like Amnesty International on its stand in the Supreme Court over the deportation of Rohingya refugees on grounds of them being a security threat. About 40,000 Rohingya refugees reside in India out of which 16,000 are registered with the United Nations refugee agency.