Human Rights

Army has been deployed to stop ‘infiltration’ of Rohingya Muslims: Rajnath

Representative Photo.

Union Home Minister of India Rajnath Singh, during the Question Hour in Lok Sabha, said that the Army has been deployed to stop Rohingya Muslims’ infiltration into the country and has also directed the states not to let them spread.

“The Border Security Force (BSF) and the Assam Rifles are deployed to stop further infiltration of the Rohingyas,” he said.

He also said he has issued an advisory to states to monitor those who have already infiltrated. “They have been asked to keep them in one place and not let them spread. States also have the right to deport them,” Rajnath Singh said.

Trinamool Congress member Sugata Bose retorted that the Ministry of External Affairs was carrying out “Operation Insaniyat” (Operation Humanity) in Bangladesh while on the other hand it had started the process of deportation of Rohingyas from the country.

“External Affairs Ministry is conducting operation insaniyat (humanity) for Rohingyas in Bangladesh. There are about 40,000 Rohingyas in India,” Bose said. “Will we show humanity for only those who are in Bangladesh?”

He inquired whether the country was ready to abide by international law and that it was the Indian tradition to give refuge to people.

Responding to Bose’s remarks, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said, “This is an unfortunate statement by him. India is probably the only country which has adopted such a soft approach to refugees.”

He said that despite being not in the UN treaty to receive refugees, India has given shelter to millions. “Still, thousands of refugees are staying in India. India has been very soft towards immigrants but that doesn’t mean that there will be no system to regularise it. Our priority is taking care of our citizens first,” Rijiju stated.

“Our government created refugee camps in Rakhine province. But instead of lauding the works of the government you are defaming the country,” he said. “It even offered help to Myanmar to assist in their resettlement.”

“Rohingya population is highest in Jammu and Kashmir but they cannot be allowed to become a burden,” the minister added.

Earlier, In the north-eastern state of Assam, India has published a list which strips four million people of their citizenship. It says the process is to root out hordes of illegal Bangladeshi migrants.

The list, named as the National Register of Citizens (NRC), is a list of people who can prove they came to the state by 24 March 1971, when Bangladesh was created.

The list has sparked fears of targeted hunting towards ethnic minorities in Assam. However, officials have said that no one will face immediate deportation and that the option of an appeal will be available to all.

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