“On the one hand we are concentrating on humanitarian aid, and on the other, we are beefing up the worldwide pressure on Myanmar, so they can take them back at the earliest (time)”, Bangladesh’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs Mohammed Shahriar Alam told The Straits Times on Thursday.
Speaking at the National Human Rights Commission’s (NHRC) two-day national seminar on good governance and human rights, Rajnath said: “Rohingya muslims are not refugees, they are illegal immigrants and are threat to national security”.
The world’s biggest democracy has to “simultaneously contend with challenges in its relations with its two extremely significant and sensitive neighbors, Bangladesh and Myanmar, as well as with worldwide human rights watchdogs”, he continued. They did not come here after following the proper procedure.
“We’re using grenades containing chilli spray to stop hundreds of Rohingyas trying to enter India. the situation is tense”, added the official; Reuters said he declined to be identified as he is not authorised to speak to media. Rohingyas are illegal migrants; they are not refugees for which a process is required to be completed, which they never followed.
Openly communal hostility to these Muslims who have been driven out of their home and hearth by murderous mobs bays in the background, as experts weigh in on what stand India should take vis-à-vis some 40,000 Rohingya from the Rakhine state of Myanmar who have reached safety in India.
On September 18 the Centre filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court saying Rohingyas posed a security threat to the country as many of them had links with Pakistan-based terrorist outfits.
Citing the example of Sri Lankan Tamils, Owaisi, the Hyderabad MP, claimed that the Rohingya Muslims can be shifted from one camp to another if they indulged in any “undesirable activity”.
Deportation of Rohingyas, the rejoinder said, would be a complete violation of their human rights and India’s commitment to worldwide law on refugees.
Incidentally, the NHRC had last month issued notice to the Union Home Ministry on the issue of Rohingyas, who had fled their homes in Myanmar.
Lawyer Prashant Bhushan, representing the Rohingya at the Supreme Court hearing, said the Indian constitution “provides equal rights and liberty to every person” including non-citizens.
Turkey has been at the forefront of providing aid to Rohingya refugees and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan raised the issue during his address at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday.
The court will hear the matter on October 3.
He added that Myanmar was ready to accept them, therefore he saw no objection to Rohingyas deportation.
Escaping what the United Nations has called “ethnic cleansing” in Myanmar’s northwest state of Rakhine, thousands of Rohingya – a Muslim-majority ethnic group – have sought shelter in neighbouring countries. The Indian government is seeking to deport around 40,000 Rohingya already living in the country, citing security risks.
Bangladesh, which is facing a big influx of Rohingyas from Myanmar, has called on the global community to intervene and put pressure on Myanmar to address the exodus.