Tue 15 May 2012
Filed under: Refugees,United Nations
New Delhi – The situation over the presence of about 2,500 asylum seekers from Myanmar at the Sultan Garhi monument near Vasant Kunj remained volatile on Monday. After about 30-40 persons were moved away from in front of the 13th century Sultan Garhi monument on Sunday, no one was shifted on Monday.Since last Sunday, the asylum seekers from Myanmar had pitched tents in front of the Sultan Garhi, an Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) protected monument. In Delhi since almost a month, they are demanding legal ‘refugee’ status given by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).
UNHCR sources confirmed that it would be holding a meeting with them on Tuesday.
“(However), the police still asked the asylum seekers to leave. These people are hopeful that something fruitful will come out of tomorrow’s meeting. But the government needs to take some initiative for their welfare,” said Sucheta De, president of the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union.
Claiming that the situation at the ground zero was abysmal, she said, very scant attention has been paid despite the large numbers to provide basic amenities including medical and sanitation facilities.
There are a number of pregnant and lactating mothers and about 125 children below the age of five in the group.
Meanwhile, even as the asylum seekers were banking on the much-awaited meeting with the UNHCR, resident welfare associations (RWAs) from Vasant Kunj and panchayats from surrounding villages geared up for the Mahapanchayat on Wednesday.
“In case, their meeting with the UNHCR does not yield any result and the Myanmarese people do not move out of their area, we are going to hold a protest meeting – Mahapanchayat – which would be attended by all RWAs and village panchayats,” said Col (retd) Devendra Sehrawat.