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    A woman from the Rohingya community carries vegetables in a camp in Delhi, August 17, 2017

    UN Displeased With India’s Plan to Deport Rohingya Immigrants

    © REUTERS / Cathal McNaughton
    Asia & Pacific
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    The transformation of Rohingyas from a community fighting for basic human rights after facing persecution in Myanmar to an armed resistance group vulnerable to radicalization by global terror outfits has become a cause of grave concern for India.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — The United Nations has expressed concerns over India's plan to deport hundreds of Rohingya immigrants living in the country after fleeing Myanmar. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres' deputy spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters that the world body would take up the issue with the Indian government.

    "We have our concerns about the treatment of refugees. You are aware of our principle of non-refoulment. According to the principle, refugees cannot be returned to a place where their life or freedom would be threatened on account of their race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion," Haq said, referring to the doctrine in the UN Convention on the Status of Refugees.

    The UN refugee agency, UNHCR has reportedly issued refugee IDs to about 16,500 Rohingyas in India. But India says it can deport the illegal immigrants as the country is not a signatory to the UN Refugees Convention.

    India is one of the few countries to host Rohingya refugees. But of late, they have become a major security concern with the country's investigation agencies claiming to have found links between Rohingyas and terrorist organizations including Daesh. Last week, India's deputy minister for home affairs, Kiren Rijiju told the Parliament that the central government had issued directives to state authorities to identify and deport illegal immigrants, including Rohingyas.

    Rohingyas are mostly settled in pockets of Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana, Delhi, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Andra Pradesh and Manipur.

    According to latest government figures, 40000 Rohingyas are illegally living in India, a massive rise in their numbers in the last two years when they were estimated at 10500. "It can't be ignored that the illegal Rohingya population has grown by over 200% in just two years. On top of it, there is a concern that many Bangladeshi illegal immigrants have entered pretending to be Rohingya refugees. We can't ignore that many of them could include extremists from Bangladesh-based terror groups Harkat-ul-Jihad-Islam involved in anti-India activities," Amit Singh, Assistant Professor, at the University of Delhi, told Sputnik.

    Anita Sengupta, director at Calcutta Research Group, recently wrote in one of her papers that deporting Rohingyas would not be easy for the Indian government.

    "Bangladesh's current government does not want any more of the Rohingyas, and Myanmar would be unwilling as well, while the Rohingyas would be hardly keen to go back to Myanmar."

    The Rohingya is a Muslim community denied citizenship in Myanmar and classified as illegal immigrants. The community is marginalized and occasionally subjected to communal violence. Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya have fled from Myanmar, with many taking refuge in Bangladesh, and some then crossing a porous border into India.

    Related:

    The Unwanted: Indian Government Threatens to Deport Rohingya Refugees to Myanmar
    Indian MPs Worried About Rohingya Refugees in Kashmir
    New Challenge on the Horizon: Nexus of Daesh-Rohingya-Bangladeshi Terror Outfit
    UN Report Details ‘Campaign of Terror’ Against Rohingya People in Myanmar
    Tags:
    migrants, Rohingya people, United Nations, Antonio Guterres, Myanmar, India
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