Published: Fri, September 22, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

India can not shy away from accommodating refugees: Khurshid

India can not shy away from accommodating refugees: Khurshid

The Rohingya are denied citizenship in Buddhist-majority Myanmar and regarded as illegal immigrants, despite claiming roots that date back centuries.

They are not refugees, nor have they taken asylum, the minister said of the almost 40,000 people who the Centre has said it will remove from India, provoking worldwide criticism.

Congress leader Sushil Kumar Shinde said on Tuesday that during his tenure as Union Home Minister, he was not aware of any intelligence report on the involvement of undocumented Rohingya immigrants in terrorist activity in India. "Providing them with refugee status and relevant documentation will also help the authorities to monitor if there are any extremist elements trying to utilise their desperate plight".

"The petitioners submit that this proposed deportation is contrary to the Constitutional protections of Article 14, Article 21 and Article 51 (c) of the Constitution of India, which provides equal rights and liberty to every "person" and is not confined to citizens of the country as enunciated in Article 19 of Constitution", the petition says, adding that deporting these children would be in contradiction of the principle of "non-refoulement", which has been widely recognized as a principle of Customary International Law.

The external affairs ministry has recognised that those fleeing Rakhine State are refugees - though the home ministry believes they no longer deserve that designation once they are in India. "Today, we are talking about their human rights", said the minister at a national seminar on good governance, development and human rights organised by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in the capital on Thursday.

The top court is hearing an appeal on behalf of Rohingyas against Indian government's deportation plan. The court will next hear the matter on October 3.

The Echo of India has learnt this from chairperson of the Commission Ananya Chakrabarty who also expressed hope that the children would get justice in this way.There are 20 Rohingya children in the state's jails and 24 such children in state-run homes. People should understand the reality. "Some people have entered India in an illegal fashion and now there is talk of their human rights".

The latest round of violence in Myanmar's strife-torn Rakhine State broke out on August 25 when Rohingya militants attacked dozens of security outposts.

He said Rohingyas who had take refuge in Bangladesh had gone back in 1977 and 1997 under United Nations monitoring but were forced to flee again by the Myanmar government.

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