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Rohingyas are illegal immigrants, not refugees: Rajnath Singh

LiveMint logoLiveMint 21-09-2017 PTI

New Delhi: The Rohingyas were illegal immigrants and not refugees who had applied for asylum in India, Union home minister Rajnath Singh said on Thursday.

Addressing a seminar organised by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Singh asked why some people were objecting to the deportation of Rohingyas when Myanmar was ready to accept them.

“The Rohingyas are not refugees. They have not come here after following proper procedures. No Rohingya has applied for asylum. They are illegal immigrants,” he said.

The home minister also said that India would not violate any international law by deporting Rohingyas as it was not a signatory to the UN Refugees Convention 1951.

The NHRC recently issued a notice to the Centre over its plan to deport Rohingyas, who are residing in various parts of India.

According to the Commission, from the human rights angle its “intervention is appropriate” in the matter.

Earlier, the Centre on Monday had told the Supreme Court that the Rohingya Muslims were “illegal” immigrants in the country and that their continuous stay posed “serious national security ramifications”.

In an affidavit filed in the apex court registry, the NDA government said the fundamental right to reside and settle in any part of the country is available to citizens only and illegal refugees cannot invoke the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to enforce the right.

The government had told the parliament on 9 August that according to available data, more than 14,000 Rohingyas, registered with the UNHCR, were staying in India.

However, some inputs indicate that around 40,000 undocumented Rohingyas were staying in India, mostly in Jammu, Hyderabad, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi-NCR and Rajasthan regions.

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