Despite a top United Nations official criticizing India’s decision to deport illegal Rohigya immigrants, the Centre has enough points to back its stand.
1) Last week, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju made India’s stand on deportation of Rohingya Muslims clear.
2) “I want to tell the international organisations whether the Rohingyas are registered under the United Nations Human Rights Commission or not, they are illegal immigrants in India,” said Rijiju, adding that they stand to be deported.
3) “India remains deeply concerned about the situation in Rakhine state in Myanmar and the outflow of refugees from that region,” the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.
4) Rijiju’s comments came on a day when Prime Minister Narendra Modi landed in Nay Pyi Taw, the capital of Myanmar, to start his two-day visit to the country.
5) While Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed concern over the violence in Rakhine state during his address in Myanmar, India later called for “restraint” by the country’s government.
NOT BOUND BY UNITED NATIONS
As international organisations call on India to not deport Rohingyas, India can back its stand on deportation by stating that it is neither a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention of the UN nor did it sign its 1967 Protocol. In total, 148 countries have signed either of the two protocols that clarify the rights of refugees and help protect them.
The Article 3 of the Convention against Torture states that “no party shall expel, return (refouler) or extradite a person to another State where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture”.
It further says that “for the purpose of determining whether there are such grounds, the competent authorities shall take into account all relevant considerations including, where applicable, the existence in the State concerned of a consistent pattern of gross, flagrant or mass violations of human rights”.
As late as May this year, India had not ratified the United Nations Convention against Torture despite being a signatory to the convention in October 1997. India, however, is yet to make a law on the same to ratify the convention.
INDIA RAISES SECURITY CONCERN
Today, a top United Nations official, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein slammed India for taking measures to “deport Rohingyas at a time of such violence against them in their country”.
According to the UN office:-
1. In India, nearly 40,000 Rohingya Muslims are staying illegally while another 14,000 have been registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Majority of these illegal Rohinya immigrants have settled in Jammu, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Hyderabad, Delhi-NCR and Rajasthan.
2. In Bangladesh, more than 3 lakh Rohingyas have fled into Bangladesh from Myanmar since violence broke out in Rakhine on August 25.
3. The Centre has said that illegal immigrants like Rohingyas pose grave security challenges as they could be recruited by terror groups and directed states to identify them and subsequently deport them.