Government Will Follow Refugee Policy: Minister VK Singh On Rohingya Issue

Government Will Follow Refugee Policy: Minister VK Singh On Rohingya Issue

Asked about the politics over the Rohingya refugees, a persecuted community of Muslims from Myanmar who have fled the country in large numbers, the Home Minister said: "Whatever affidavit we have to file, we will file on September 18".

The Indian government's plan to deport Rohingya Muslims, who have come to India due to alleged persecution in Myanmar, as it considers them as illegal immigrants.

Around 40,000 Rohingyas - Muslims who fled Myanmar as violence against the ethnic minority spiked in the Rakhine region - have settled in India.

The affidavit that the government said was just a draft yet and claimed to submit it to the Supreme Court on 18 Sep was supposedly leaked. According to Bangladesh, around 3,000 Rohingya have been killed in the crackdown.

A recent draft submission of the government's reply stated that Rohingyas were a threat to national security as they were vulnerable to be recruited by terrorist groups and thus, stand to be deported.

Govindacharya has opposed their plea saying they were "a burden" on the country's resources and posed a serious threat to national security.

Both UN and human rights activists argue that despite India not being a signatory to the UN Refugee Convention, it is bound by global principles of non-refoulement which holds that no nation should deport a refugee to territories where his life or freedom would be under threat based on his race, religion, nationality, or membership of a social or political group. In its affidavit given to the apex court, the Foreigners' Division of the home ministry emphasised that there have been intelligence reports that some Rohingyas are involved in militancy and are very active in places such as Delhi, Jammu, Hyderabad and Mewat.

Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said, "Government which talks about "sabka saath sabka vikas" is pushing them out of the country".

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".

Since August 25, the number of Rohingya refugees who have crossed the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh has reached 389,000, the United Nations said.

The supplies brought in by them will help 25,000 refugees, and more flights are planned to aid a total of 120,000 refugees, he added. He said that it is in the process of being finalised. Whether or not India chooses to ratify the 1951 convention, there are several Supreme Court verdicts which disallow the Indian government from arbitrarily and summarily deporting refugees from its territory.

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