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Rohingya are not refugees, nor have they taken asylum… They are illegal immigrants, says Rajnath Singh

The United Nations says more than 4,20,000 Rohingya have fled for safety to Bangladesh in the face of an army campaign that includes the burning of villages and rape.

By: Express Web Desk |
Updated: September 21, 2017 12:41:42 pm
Rohingya, Rajnath Singh, Rohingya crisis, rohingya deportation, rohingya muslims in india, illegal immigrants rohingya Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said criticism against deportation of illegal Rohingya residing in India was unwarranted. (File/PTI Photo)

Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday said that criticism against the government for deporting the Rohingya living in the country was uncalled for as the Myanmar government itself was willing to take them back. Rajnath Singh was referring to Myanmar Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi’s remarks that the country will allow the Rohingya to return after a due verification process.

On India’s decision to deport Rohingya, Rajnath said, “Rohingya are not refugees, nor have they taken asylum. They are illegal immigrants.”  The minister was addressing a seminar organised by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). He also said that India would not violate any international law by deporting the Rohingya as it was not a signatory to the UN Refugees Convention 1951.

Earlier this month, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju had categorically stated that the government is looking for ways to deport over 40,000 Rohingyas living in the country illegally.

“Myanmar se Bharat ghus aaye ye Rohingya refugee nahi hain iss sachchai ko hume samajhna chahiye… Refugee status prapt karne ke liye ek process hota hai aur inmein se kisi ne iss procedure ko follow nahi kia hai.. (They have entered India from Myanmar. Rohingya are not refugees, we need to understand this reality. There is a procedure to acquire refugee status and none of them have followed that),” Rajnath was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

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“Human rights ka hawala de kar illegal immigrants ko refugee batane ki galti nahi ki jaani chahiye. (For the sake of human rights, we should not do the mistake of calling illegal immigrants as refugees,” the minsiter added.

The United Nations says more than 420,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh in the face of an army campaign that includes burning of villages and rape.

In his address to the UN General Assembly, Myanmar’s second vice president Henry Van Thio said: “I am happy to inform you that the situation has improved… there have been no clashes since September 5. Accordingly, we are concerned by reports that the numbers of Muslims crossing into Bangladesh remain unabated. We would need to find out the reason for this exodus,” he said. He was speaking in place of Myanmar Counsellor and Nobel Peace Prize awardee Aung San Suu Kyi, who a day earlier delivered a speech calling for patience.

With PTI, ANI inputs

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