New Delhi on Wednesday made it clear in no uncertain terms that Rohingya refugees would be deported and said talks with Bangladesh were on for their deportation because “Rohingyas are illegally staying in India”.
A report in the The New Indian Express stated that the Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh, told the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday that the Centre has given directive to all States and Union Territories (UTs) to ensure that illegal immigrants, including Rohingyas, do not possess Indian documents.
Singh informed the Parliament that the Centre has sent an advisory to State Governments to identify illegal immigrants and take their biometric and ensure that they don’t have any such document to claim Indian citizenship in the future.
The report also quoted the Home Minister as saying, “After we get report from the States, we will send to the External Affairs Ministry and if the need arises, India will talk to both Bangladesh and Myanmar so that Rohingya refugees are deported.”
Rajnath Singh further said that the Government of India is impressing on them (read Bangladesh and Myanmar) to take these people back and the “process will be as per the discussion we have with a sovereign country”. He also said that the Centre has powers to “identify, detect and deport anyone who is staying illegally in India”.
The Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju, also spoke about the issue of deportation in Parliament and said that as many as 52 illegal Bangladeshis will be deported on July 30 next from Assam.
“The Bangladesh Government has agreed, identified and accepted the identity of 52 people as Bangladeshis. So, they have agreed these 52 people including one minor will be deported on July 30 at 11 am at Mankachar IPC in Assam,” Rijiju said.
To another supplementary question on keeping Indians in detention camps with an ulterior motive, the minister said no motive can be attached to anybody kept in detention. “Only those declared as foreigners by tribunal can be kept in detention camps. The Government on its own cannot declare anybody as foreigner and put them in a detention camp,” he affirmed.
Maintaining that Rohingyas have entered India illegally, Rijiju said they are staying in various States such as Jammu and Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Western Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Jaipur. “The Central Government has clearly given direction to States to identify, detect and start the process of deportation of Rohingyas who have entered India illegally,” remarked Rijiju.
Rohingya Muslims fled to India after violence in the western Rakhine State of Myanmar. Almost 700,000 refugees have fled violence in neighbouring Myanmar and arrived in Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh since August 2017, according to the United Nations (UN).