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​NHRC calls for report on proposed deportation of 40,000 Rohingya

Graphic: Rohingya boy staring

The Commission has issued a notice to the Union Home Ministry calling for a detailed report into the matter within four weeks.

The National Human Rights Commission has taken suo motu cognizance of media reports regarding the plans of the Government of India to deport about 40,000 illegal Rohingya immigrants from Myanmar, who are residing in various parts of India.

The Commission has issued a notice to the Union Home Ministry, through its Secretary, calling for a detailed report into the matter within four weeks.

The Commission has observed that refugees are no doubt foreign nationals but they are human beings. Before steps are taken to deport people, the Government of India should look into every aspect of the situation and keep in mind that the members of the Rohingya community, who have crossed into India, have a fear of persecution once they are returned to their native country.

The Commission has held that, from a human rights angle, its intervention is appropriate in the matter.

The Commission has also observed that the Supreme Court of India has consistently held that the fundamental right enshrined under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution regarding the right to life and personal liberty, applies to all, irrespective of whether or not they are Indian citizens.

The Commission further noted that India has been home to refugees for centuries. It has continued to receive a large number of refugees from different countries. And while India is not a signatory to the 1951 Convention on Refugees and the 1967 Protocol, it is a signatory to a number of UN human rights conventions.

According to the media reports, the Rohingyas, who fled to India after violence in the Western Rakhine State of Myanmar, have settled in Jammu, Hyderabad, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi-NCR and Rajasthan states of the country.

A Home Ministry official has reportedly said that India would go ahead with plans to deport Rohingyas and is in discussions with the Myanmar and Bangladesh governments on the issue.

The Government of India is also reportedly planning to set up "detention centres" for the refugees and, if required, will "push them back" over the India-Myanmar border, if Myanmar refuses to accept them.

Date: 18 August 2017

Source: National Human Rights Commission of India

Image credits

  1. Rohingya boy staring - Steve Gumaer, Flickr; http://bit.ly/2wSNx9g