MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday called Rohingya Muslims staying on the country's territory "illegal immigrants" from Myanmar, who will face deportation as their arrival was not in line with proper procedures.
"The Rohingyas are not refugees. They have not come here after following proper procedures. No Rohingya has applied for asylum. They are illegal immigrants, " Rajnath said as quoted by the NDTV broadcaster.
He added that Myanmar was ready to accept them, therefore he saw no objection to Rohingyas deportation.
The minister pointed out that India would not violate any international law by deporting Rohingyas as the country was not a signatory to the 1951 UN Refugees Convention.
According to different assessments, from 14,000 to 40,000 Rohingya Muslims are currently staying in India to avoid a military crackdown in Myanmar.
Myanmar's army destroyed yet another Rohingya Muslim village today. pic.twitter.com/D8irODXPbi— CJ Werleman (@cjwerleman) September 21, 2017
The conflict in Myanmar's state of Rakhine between the Rohingya people, who are a Muslim minority, and the Bamar Buddhist majority dates back to the previous century. Official authorities and the Buddhist population consider Rohingya to be illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.
The new escalation occurred in late August after Rohingya insurgents attacked government security posts. The attacks prompted a response by Myanmar’s authorities, resulting in clashes and the deaths of hundreds of Rohingyas and forcing thousands of others to flee to Bangladesh. The situation has been harshly criticized by the global community.
The United Nations describes Rohingyas as the most persecuted minority in the world.