23 September, 2017
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist government is growing increasingly hostile towards the Rohingya in India, with Home Minister Rajnath Singh calling on Thursday for their deportation as illegal migrants.
Rights groups have urged India to abide by its global obligations after the government said last month it had asked state authorities to identify and deport the Rohingya living in their terriory.
Amnesty International recently accused Myanmar of deliberately targeting Rohingya by placing landmines along the routes the refugees use to flee. Were we to expel them to Bangladesh from where they came, we will not be endangering this Muslim population which Myanmar identifies as Bengalis, to persecution.
"People should understand that one aspect of illegal immigration of Rohingyas is related with the national security", said Singh.
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Rajnath said that the objections to deport them are baseless since Myanmar has expressed its willingness to take them back, NDTV reports.
The Home Minister said India would not be violating any worldwide law if it deports Rohingya Muslims as it is not a signatory to the UN Refugees Convention 1951.
The Rohingya refugees, a persecuted community of Muslims from Myanmar have fled the country in large numbers. They are illegal immigrants.
The ministry also told the apex court that the information received by it suggests that Rohingyas are involved with the Islamic State and other "extremist groups" to incite communal and sectarian violence in India. The West Bengal government had earlier planned to hand over United Nations refugee cards to the 24 children, but the programme at the Liluah home was cancelled after the Centre sent the missive to deport the Rohingyas. The Centre has said that the fundamental right to reside and settle in any part of India is available to citizens only. "India is not a signatory to the 1951 UN Refugee Convention", he said, adding that the argument from some quarters that India would be violating worldwide law in deporting them is not the case. In the past four weeks, over 420,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh, and satellite imagery and heat sensors analysed by Human Rights Watch have shown more than 228 villages burned to the ground in northern Rakhine state. According to Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Abul Hasan Mahmood Ali, around 3,000 Rohingya have been killed in the crackdown. He also referred to Myanmar state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi's statement two days ago that her country would resettle some of the refugees.