Rohingya are not refugees and will be deported, says Rajnath Singh

Home Ministry clarifies stance on deportation through an affidavit in the SC

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Rohingya are not refugees and will be deported, says Rajnath Singh
Rajnath Singh, NHRC Chairperson, Justice HL Dattu (R), and Justice PC Ghose (L)


Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday said, "Rohingya Muslims are not refugees, but illegal migrants and will be deported," questioning those who are objecting Rohingya deportation to Myanmar when their "own country was ready to accept them".

"The Home Ministry has clarified its position through its affidavit (in the Supreme Court) that these are illegal immigrants and they will be deported. The Rohingya are not refugees," Singh said.

"No Rohingya has got asylum in India nor anyone has applied for it. They are illegal immigrants," he said while addressing a seminar organised by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

Rohingyas are minority Muslims in western Myanmar who have faced persecution in their country and fled to India and Bangladesh.

The Home Minister said India would not be violating any international law if it deports Rohingya Muslims as it is not a signatory to the UN Refugees Convention 1951.

The NHRC recently issued a notice to the Centre over its plan to deport Rohingya living in various parts of India.

Dismissing allegations of human rights violations Singh said, "We have to think about the human rights of our own people before talking about the human rights of people from other countries." Any sovereign country, the minister said, was free to take a decision on what kind of action it should take against illegal immigrants.

"The issue of national security is involved with regard to illegal immigration which our country can't undermine," he said. He also referred to Myanmar state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi's statement two days ago that her country would resettle some of the refugees. "I am sure Myanmar will take positive steps to take back the Rohingyas."

Singh said some people had termed the process of deportation wrong by referring to the 'non-refoulement principle', which forbids a country receiving asylum seekers from deporting them to a country where they would likely face persecution.

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