Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said action against illegal immigrants should not be seen from the point of view of human rights, as there was “no inhuman behaviour towards them”. The Supreme Court’s recent decision was in favour of deportation of the seven Rohingya,” he pointed out while speaking at the 25th anniversary of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). Prime Minister Narendra Modi was also present at the event.
Questioning human rights groups, Singh said, “If someone is entering the country through illegal means and they are stopped, even this is termed a rights violation. Whether they are Bangladeshi ghuspaithiye (infiltrators) or Rohingya, no inhuman action has been taken against them in India. Recently, seven Rohingya were repatriated… Which country considers stopping intruders a human rights violation?”
While referring to the appeal filed before the Supreme Court against deportation of seven Rohingya from Assam to Myanmar, Singh said, “It is a cause of concern that when strong action is taken against anti-social and anti-India elements, some people start making a hue and cry over human rights violations. But strong action doesn’t always mean something inhuman has been done.”
The apex court had refused to stay the deportation, following which all seven were handed over to Myanmar authorities last week.
A UN human rights expert in a statement has expressed alarm at the government’s plan to deport the Rohingya to Myanmar, saying their forcible return could constitute refoulement which violates international law.
Singh said, “Human rights means everyone has a right to dignified life. In this direction, our government has implemented many significant schemes for the benefit of crores of people and provided them food, housing, health and education for girl children. If we take into account the welfare of the country and the society, then such actions (deportation) should not be seen as violation of human rights. If the police take action against someone who has committed a crime, it is painted as a rights violation.
“Some (people) are concerned with the human rights violation of terrorists. I ask these people, when terrorists violate someone else’s human rights then how do you raise human rights of such terrorists?”
Elaborating on Singh’s statement, a Home Ministry official said the non-refoulement principle is applicable to those who take asylum. No Rohingya has got asylum in India nor has anyone applied for it, the official said.