NEW DELHI, Sept 21 - Reiterating the government�s toughening of stand, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today said that the Centre is firm on sending back the Rohingyas because they are not refugees, but illegal immigrants.
�We need to understand the reality that the 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,� Singh said.
Addressing a national seminar on �Good Governance, Development and Human Rights�, he said that some 40,000 Rohingya Muslims have taken refuge in India and are residing in Jammu, Hyderabad and the Northeast.
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 wondered why some people are objecting to the deportation of Rohingyas when Myanmar is ready to take them back.
�The Rohingyas are not refugees. They have not come here after following proper procedures. No Rohingya has applied for asylum in India. They are illegal immigrants,� he said.
Singh 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.
Earlier, on September 5, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju had said that Rohingyas are illegal immigrants and stand to be deported.
�I want to tell the international organisations whether the Rohingyas are registered under the United Nations Human Rights Commission or not; they are illegal immigrants in India,� Rijiju had said. �India has absorbed the maximum number of refugees in the world, so nobody should give India any lessons on how to deal with refugees.�
Staff Correspondent adds from Silchar: Meanwhile, Union Minister of Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad said the Rohingya crisis is a problem between Bangladesh and Myanmar. The Government of India will in no way compromise with the security of its people, he said adding External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has repeatedly said the issue should be solved diplomatically.
Prasad, on a two-day visit to Silchar, referring to the intelligence reports of links between Rohingyas and the ISI and radical terrorist outfits, said it is because of the appeasement politics that the issue has been blown out of proportion in India.
On the issue of illegal infiltration in Assam, he said that as a mark of good governance, the State government�s decision to implement the Aadhar card scheme will help detect unauthorised persons enjoying benefits within the State.