The Rohingya crisis emerged as one of the grimmest humanitarian crisis in the history of mankind, followed by the fleeing of over 500,000 Rohingya Muslims to Bangladesh and India due to the drastic ethnic cleansing enforced by predominantly Buddhist the Myanmar government.
In his recent visit to Kolkata Home Minister Rajnath Singh held a meeting with the states sharing a border with Bangladesh in Kolkata, to discuss the impending Rohingya crisis.
The meeting was attended by Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijuju, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal, Mizoram’s Lal Thanhawla along with officials from Meghalaya and Tripura.
The United Nations has declared the Rohingya crisis as the “fastest-growing refugee crisis” and the Amnesty International has said that the Rohingyas have been subjected to increased discrimination, torture, and religious intolerance.
The Rohingyas have encountered rampant discrimination and persecution by Myanmar’s military junta since ages which has led to their mass migration by land to Bangladesh and India and via sea to Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia also known as “boat people” by the international media.
The Rohingyas who are concentrated mainly in Myanmar’s Rakhine state are living in the most despicable conditions and are victims of merciless killings in the name of ethnic cleansing. The Rohingyas have been denied any citizenship by the Myanmar government, hence declared stateless.
India’s status on Rohingyas, however, remains suspended as the Supreme Court verdict on center’s decision to deport the 40,000 Rohingyas who are “illegal immigrants” is still awaited.
Addressing a seminar organized by the NHRC, Mr. 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.”
Singh’s statement drew sharp criticism from the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)chairperson H.L Dattu who reiterated that the human rights body was helping the Rohingyas on humanitarian grounds and helping them because they are facing threat from the military forces.
However, the Home Minister confirmed that India would not be violating any international law as it is not a signatory to the UN’s 1951 refugees convention. On Sunday the center filed an affidavit in SC citing that the Rohingyas had nexus with the terror outfits posing an imminent threat to India’s security in future.
Singh stressed an urgent need to prevent the infiltration of illegal immigrants who have links with extremist groups and asked India to bear caution on any kind of terrorist activities at the India-Bangladesh border as a lot of Rohingya Muslims have infiltrated to Bangladesh as a result of the exodus from Myanmar.
In 2016 the security agencies busted a module involved in arranging fake Indian passports for illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and Rohingya Muslims, looking for a plausible scope for recruitment by some terror outfits operating from middle east and Pakistan. 13 people were arrested in this connection.
Rajnath Singh urged the Indian states to remain vigilant of the Rohingya issue. He also emphasized the need to upgrade border infrastructure and bolster security to prevent any influx.
A massive border infrastructure project called Border Protection Grid (BPG) is currently under construction work on 1090 km of land stretch scheduled to begin.
Also, the places along the border which cannot be covered by fencing will have technological solutions like night sensors, radars, and day-night cameras.