Kochi: Calling all Rohingya in India “illegal immigrants”, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said Thursday state governments have been asked to observe their movements and obtain their personal details so they could be deported to Myanmar.
Talking tough on the issue, he said all states including Kerala have been asked to collect data related to Rohingya as they have moved to different parts of the country.
Singh, who recently said all Rohingya in India were “illegal immigrants” as none of them had applied for asylum as refugees, asked opposition parties not to make it a “political issue”.
“I appeal all the political parties not to make the issue of national security a political issue. The presence of Rohingya is confined not only to the northeastern states.
They have reached south Indian states including Kerala,” Singh told a meeting of the BJP’s Kerala state council here.
“The Centre has directed the states to be cautious.
The states have been directed to observe their movements.
They should not get documents that could help them prove they are Indian citizens,” the minister said.
He said the issue will be taken up with the Government of Myanmar through diplomatic channels after securing complete details from states.
Addressing a seminar organised by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) recently,Singh had wondered why some people were objecting to the deportation of Rohingya when Myanmar was ready to take them back.
“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.
“There is a procedure to get refugee status and none of them followed this procedure. No Rohingya has got asylum in India nor anyone has applied for it. They are illegal immigrants,” he had said.
Hundreds of minority Rohingya have been killed in the northern Rakhine province of Myanmar by the military in alleged ethnic cleansing, setting of an exodus with lakhs taking shelter in camps in Bangladesh. Many of them are also living in India.
Singh had earlier said India would not be violating any international law if it were to deport Rohingya as New Delhi is not a signatory to the UN Refugees Convention, 1951.