India Rebuts Attempts to Make It 'Villain' in Rohingya Refugee Crisis


The clarification sent to lawyers who were representing two Rohingya petitioners in the Supreme Court has been signed by deputy government advocate BV Balram Das and says: "The CAS has served you a copy of the affidavit... by mistake".

Last month, the West Bengal government had announced that it would distribute identity cards issued by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to Rohingya children lodged in juvenile justice homes across the state after UNHCR officials in India wrote to the West Bengal government.

"Rohingya muslims are not basically from India".

The violent attacks allegedly by Myanmarese armymen have led to an exodus of Rohingya tribals from the western Rakhine state in that country to India and Bangladesh.

It has also sought a direction that Rohingyas be provided "basic amenities to ensure that they can live in human conditions as required by worldwide law".

Asad said the constitution had provided the right to live and equality to even refugees, and hence government has to reconsider its stand, adding that he hoped that the Supreme Court would deliver a judgment in favour of the Rohingyas.

However, the "draft affidavit", which reached the media, was signed by a Deputy Secretary, Foreigners Division of the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Since the military crackdown began, at least 30,000 Rohingya people have been killed, while almost 400,000 forced out of their homeland and flee to Bangladesh as entire villages were burnt down, according to the UNHCR.

Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi on Friday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to view Rohingyas as Muslims, but consider them as refugees and allow them to stay in India like any other refugee.

"If they stay here permanently, who will protect the citizens?" he asked.

In the draft affidavit, the central government said: "There are contemporaneous inputs received by the central government, indicating linkages of some of the unauthorised Rohingya immigrants with Pakistan/ Bangladesh based terror organisations and it is found that there are organised network of agents and touts facilitating illegal migration of Rohingyas in India".

The state governments have also been directed to set up a special task force which would identify illegal immigrants. Questioning the government's policy, he said that when the government can provide shelter to Buddhist refugees of Tibet then why it wants to repatriate Muslim refugees from Myanmar.

The Supreme Court had fixed September 18 for hearing a plea challenging the government's decision to deport illegal Rohingya Muslim immigrants back to Myanmar.