Help Rohingyas 'regardless of politics', says United Nations about India's policy

  • Help Rohingyas 'regardless of politics', says United Nations about India's policy

Help Rohingyas 'regardless of politics', says United Nations about India's policy

Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju had on September 5 said the Rohingya were illegal immigrants and stood to be deported.

Talking to the media on the sidelines of an event, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said: "We will file the affidavit on 18th (September)".

The Indian government on Thursday told the Supreme Court that Rohingya refugees were "a threat to national security", pushing back against the condemnation of its plans to deport them. Rohingyas are a Muslim minority of Myanmar who have fled to neighbouring countries such as Bangladesh and India to escape violence. But Rohingyas have not been as fortunate as the Centre has directed the state governments to start identifying them for deportation.

Terming the Rohingyas as a "direct threat to national security", the said affidavit (draft) had claimed that providing facilities and amenities to illegal immigrants out of existing national resources "would have a direct adverse impact on Indian citizens" and that "fundamental rights of Indian citizens would be seriously violated" if the refugees were allowed to stay in India.

Following this, advocate Hunar Gupta, a member of the state BJP's legal cell, filed a PIL in the High Court asking for deportation of Rohingya and Bangladeshi refugees from Jammu and Kashmir.

China has endorsed the crackdown on the persecuted Rohingyas by security forces in Myanmar.

India is not a state party to the 1951 Refugee Convention or the 1967 Protocol relating to the status of refugees although it hosts thousands of refugees from neighboring countries. "It (such statements) undermines India's security".

Rijiju had earlier said that the government will follow due process of law before illegal Rohingya Muslims are deported and no one should attempt to "demonize" India for adhering to its laws.

"A fragile north-eastern corridor may become further destabilize in case of stridency of Rohingya militancy, which the central government has found to be growing, is permitted to continue", the affidavit said.

In response to Bangladesh's request for help, he said an aircraft chartered by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and another donated by the United Arab Emirates have landed in Bangladesh with emergency aid for Rohingya refugees. The ministry has also asked the state governments to identity such illegal immigrants and initiate deportation process.

He further added: "Government is certainly fulfilling all its humanitarian obligations but at the same time Government of India can not consider religion and vote bank politics that BSP, SP and Congress are involved in". His remarks came two days after UN Human Rights Chief Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein condemned India's decision to deport Rohingyas to Myanmar where they have faced persecution.