India sees threat from Rohingyas' terror links

Members of the Rohingya Muslim community in Britain

Members of the Rohingya Muslim community in Britain

Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju had on 5 September said the Rohingya were illegal immigrants and stood to be deported.

"We will file the affidavit in the Supreme Court on September 18", he told reporters on the sidelines of a function here.

India on Thursday announced it will send food and medical assistance to help Bangladesh support vast numbers of Rohingya refugees who have crossed over from the border in Myanmar. It says that Rohingyas must be deported as they pose a challenge to our internal security, which is paramount.

An exhausted Rohingya refugee woman is carried to the shore after crossing the Bangladesh Myanmar border by boat through the Bay of Bengal
Image Rohingya refugees have crossed the Bangladesh Myanmar border

Around 40,000 Rohingya Muslims have settled in India, and almost 16,000 of them have received refugee documentation, according to the United Nations.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, Mayawati said that the Centre should not force state governments to adopt a stern stand towards Rohingya refugees.

The issue of illegal Rohingya Muslim immigrants has become hugely contentious as the home ministry has already stated that they were a potential security risk as they were more vulnerable to getting roped in by terror outfits. The duo also stated that they were registered as refugees under the United Nations High Commission of Refugees (UNHCR) and have challenged any possible move to deport them on the grounds that it violated worldwide human rights conventions and some other issues.

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"India has more moral authority than China to comment on the Rohingya crisis", Richard Rossow, senior adviser in US-India relations at the Center for Strategic and International Studies told TOI. "It undermines India's security", Rijiju tweeted.

Former RSS ideologue and Rashtriya Swabhiman Andolan leader K N Govindacharaya has recently moved the apex court seeking to make him a party in the case filed by the two Rohingya Muslims.

Aid programmes for the Rohingya by the United Nations agencies and global NGOs in northern Rakhine have either been suspended or severely interrupted, but some help is being delivered by the government and through the Red Cross, he added.

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However, as news spread of the government filing the said affidavit in the Supreme Court, the Central Agency Section (CAS) of the Union law ministry clarified late on Thursday night that the document was "incomplete".

"The Government of India must adopt a humane view as has been the tradition of India".

The affidavit adds, 'There is also a serious potential and possibility of eruption of violence against Myanmar government/its diplomatic missions and also against Buddhists who are Indian citizen who stay on Indian soil by the radicalised Rohingya'. The ministry has also asked the state governments to identity such illegal immigrants and initiate deportation process.

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