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Delhi's only Rohingya camp gutted; 230 refugees again homeless, 1 injured

The fire broke out at around 3 am on April 15 according to the fire department officials

BS Web Team 

Rohingya colony now in ashes
Rohingya colony now in ashes

In another addition to the miseries of Rohingya refugees, a massive fire in Delhi's camp on April 15 rendered some 230 of them homeless. The camp, established in 2012 at Madanpur Khadar area of Kalindi Kunj, has seen four incidents of fire since -- in 2012, 2016, 2017 and now in 2018.

The camp housed 50 families. Though no causalty was reported, one person sustained burn injuries on his hand. The fire broke out at around 3 am on April 15 according to fire department officials.

It took 11 fire tenders two hours to douse the flames, which devoured everything in the way. Residents lost ID cards and documents pertaining to their origin in Rakhine state of Myanmar.

Police teams were sent to the camp to assist in firefighting operations.

Sanjana Srikumar, a lawyer working on the Rohingya issue, told Business Standard that "there was nothing left in the camp; everything was burnt to the ashes" She also mentioned that the resident lost their UN cards, issued to give them the refugee status.

"It will be very difficult for these people now as all they had, has been gutted in the fire", she added.

Madanpur Khadar camp in Delhi's area was the only in Delhi. After the pre-dawn blaze, all the residents of the colony have been moved to a makeshift camp. ANI reported that local residents of the area are helping the dislodged population with clothes, food and other help which they are capable of providing. A forensic team and officials from power discom BSES visited the camp to ascertain the cause of the fire. However, some media reports claim that the fire was started by a short-circuit in the electrical wiring of a makeshift toilet. Mumtaz Azmi, The secretary of Zaket Foundation (NGO which had built the camp) told to Business Standard that "resident of the colony used to steal electricity from the wirings around the colony". He also informed that the Disaster Management authority had built makeshift camps in the nearby area where people had now been shifted. Asked about future plans of relocating the residents, he said, "If the government gives us the permission, we will go ahead and build a camp again for those people"

First Published: Mon, April 16 2018. 10:58 IST
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