House panel to take up Ind-Myanmar ties, Rohingya issue

RSTV Bureau
FILE: Kutupalong: File photo of a Rohingya man stretches his arms out for food distributed by local volunteers, with bags of puffed rice stuffed into his vest at Kutupalong, Bangladesh, Sept. 9, 2017. Photo - AP/PTI

FILE: Kutupalong: File photo of a Rohingya man stretches his arms out for food distributed by local volunteers, with bags of puffed rice stuffed into his vest at Kutupalong, Bangladesh, Sept. 9, 2017.
Photo – AP/PTI

The parliamentary standing committee on external affairs is scheduled to examine the fragile issue of Rohingya situation and India’s relations with Myanmar. The issue of Rohingya Muslims fleeing Rakhine province of Myanmar due to alleged persecution by the state army has assumed international proportions.

Citing national security interest, the Centre had decided to deport all the Rohigya migrants, terming them “illegal”.

Last month, speaking in a seminar organised by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), home minister Rajnath Singh had said that Rohingyas are not refugees who have applied for asylum in India but illegal immigrants who “will be deported”.

“The Home Ministry has clarified its position through its affidavit (in Supreme Court) that these are illegal immigrants and they will be deported. The Rohingyas 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 has anyone applied for it. They are illegal immigrants,” he said.

The matter had reached Supreme Court after a PIL was filed seeking stay on Centre’s move to deport Rohingya migrants living across the country. The court, in its last hearing, had fixed the arguments for November 21.

File Photo: Newly arrived Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar walk as they continue their journey in to a camp for refugees in Teknaf, Bangladesh

File Photo: Newly arrived Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar walk as they continue their journey in to a camp for refugees in Teknaf, Bangladesh

The parliamentary panel, which is set to hold hearing on the issue this evening is headed by Congress MP and former Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor. Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi too is a member of 30-member house panel.

The large-scale movement of people, especially vulnerable women and children, has even brought in stringent criticism of Nobel peace laureate and Myanmar’s state counsellor leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

As her criticism rose in international community, Suu Kyi said Myanmar will repatriate Rohingya population from Bangladesh subject strict criterion laid out by country’s law.

The latest influx of refugees began on August 25 when Myanmar’s military launched a crackdown in the northern Rakhine state over alleged terrorist attacks on its police outposts. There are now more than 800,000 refugees living near Bangladesh’s border with Myanmar.