New Delhi, Sep 21 (IANS): Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday said Rohingyas, who have entered India after fleeing Myanmar, were not refugees but illegal immigrants who need to be sent back.
"We need to understand the reality that Rohingyas from Myanmar who have entered India are not refugees. In order to get the refugee status, one needs to follow a process. None among them has followed that procedure," Rajnath Singh said, addressing the "National Seminar on Good Governance, Development and Human Rights" here.
Some 40,000 Rohingya Muslims have taken refuge in India and reside in Jammu and Hyderabad.
The Home Ministry on Monday submitted its affidavit in the Supreme Court on the deportation of Rohingyas to Myanmar, calling them a "security threat to India". The court will hear the issue on October 3.
Singh asked why some people were objecting to the deportation of Rohingyas when Myanmar was ready to accept them.
"The Rohingyas are not refugees. They have not come here after following proper procedures. No Rohingya has applied for asylum. They are illegal immigrants," he said.
The home minister also said that India would not violate any international law by deporting Rohingyas as it was not a signatory to the UN Refugees Convention 1951.
The NHRC recently issued a notice to the Centre over its plan to deport Rohingyas, who are residing in various parts of India.
According to the Commission, from the human rights angle its "intervention is appropriate" in the matter.