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Rohingya refugees from Myanmar in New Delhi will be allotted apartments and provided with police protection, Minister for Housing and Urban affairs Hardeep Singh Puri said on August 17, signalling a change in the stance towards members of the Muslim minority.

"India has always welcomed those who have sought refuge," Puri explained on Twitter new arrangements for Rohingya refugees in New Delhi.

"India respects & follows UN Refugee Convention 1951 & provides refuge to all, regardless of their race, religion or creed," Puri said.

Puri did not go into further detail about the "round-the- clock" police security he said would be provided, but there have been a few isolated cases of Rohingya-related violence in India.

The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already attempted to repatriate members of the Muslim minority from the mostly Buddhist country of Myanmar, of which hundreds of thousands have fled due to years of persecution and waves of violence.

Around 1,100 Rohingyas staying in tents will be shifted into flats equipped with basic facilities and round-the-clock security.

The decision has been taken after a high-level meeting over the accommodation of Rohingya in the national capital was held. The meeting was chaired by the Chief Secretary of Delhi and was attended by senior officials of the Delhi government, Delhi Police and Ministry of Home Affairs.

In the meeting that was held during the last week of July, it was emphasised that the Delhi government was bearing around 7 lakh per month rent for the tents where Rohingyas were shifted in the Madanpur Khadar area after a fire incident happen in the camp where they were living.

These refugees will now be shifted to New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) flats in Bakkarwala village of Outer Delhi. There is a total of 250 flats belonging to the EWS category where all 1,100 Rohingyas, currently residing in the Madanpur Khadar camp, will be accommodated," said a senior official.

(With agency inputs)

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