India sees Rohingya Muslims as illegal immigrants not refugees

India sees Rohingya Muslims as illegal immigrants not refugees

NEW DELHI, (APP/Xinhua): India said Thursday that Rohingya Muslims living in the country are not refugees but illegal immigrants from Myanmar, indicating that it could deport them.


"Rohingyas are not refugees, nor have they taken asylum. They are illegal immigrants. There is a proper procedure to attain refugee status. None of these immigrants have followed this procedure," Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh said in the national capital.


Stating that objections to deport the Rohingya Muslims from India are baseless since Myanmar has expressed its willingness to take them back, the minister hinted that New Delhi is free to send them back to their home country.


"India won't be violating any international law by deporting Rohingyas from India as it isn't a signatory to the 1951 United Nations Refugee Convention," he said.


The home minister's statement came days after the central government told the Supreme Court that Rohingya Muslims, who fled the violence in Myanmar, are a threat to national security, citing intelligence inputs.


The government told judges that it has received information on Rohingya involvement in plots by Islamic State and other "extremist groups" to ignite communal and sectarian violence in this country and expressed its willingness to share evidence confidentially.


The top court is hearing an appeal on behalf of Rohingyas against Indian government's deportation plan. The next date of hearing is on Oct. 3.





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