The Rohingya threat to Bharat

Even before Article 370 was abrogated, unofficial sources reported the presence of large Rohingya settlements in J&K. After abrogation of Article 370, nationalist activist groups have been pressing the current dispensation to identify and deport the Rohingyas from J&K. Rohingya terrorists in J&K and elsewhere have been linked to pro-Pak terror groups.

The story of Rohingyas fleeing Myanmar dates back to the 1970s, per this report. The report estimates that the largest number of migrations from Myanmar took place in 2016/17, when close to 7.2 lakh Rohingyas left Myanmar and round 40,000 Rohingyas entered Bharat. But currently, the number of Rohingyas in Bharat is much higher and there are claims of there being at least 1 lakh Rohingyas in J&K alone.

This is the result of ongoing illegal migrations and high reproduction rates among Rohingyas. They are also present in several other regions of Bharat like Rajasthan, Telangana, and Haryana. Presence of Rohingyas in Kerala and in several metro cities of Bharat has also been reported.

Illegal migration into Bharat is aided by smugglers most of whom operate from Bangladesh and this is done with the help of certain border security personnel who receive bribes for aiding illegal immigrants to enter Bharat. Even today, Bangladesh has and estimated 9 to 11 lakh Rohingyas so the risk of many more illegally entering Bharat is ongoing.

In early March this year, the J&K government initiated a drive against illegal Rohingyas. The Modi government’s stand on illegal Rohingyas is unambiguous. In a 2017 visit to Myanmar, PM Modi had spoken on this issue. At that time, Minister of state for Home Affairs, Mr Kiren Rijiju had said, “ I want to tell the international organizations whether Rohingyas are registered under the United Nations Human Rights Commission or not. They are illegal immigrants in India.”

With established links to Pro-Pak terror groups, Rohingyas found on Bharat soil are inevitably found to be engaged in sinister activities as in this case. Security agencies of Myanmar, Bangladesh, and Bharat are coordinating their actions against Rohingya terror groups so their threat to security and sovereignty of nations is universally recognized.

Moreover, every sovereign nation has the right to identify and deport illegal migrants living on its land as clear from Islamic Malaysia’s stand on Rohingyas. USA with a geographical area more than thrice as large as Bharat and a population that is less than one third of Bharat– also regularly engages in identifying illegal aliens and deporting them. Recent deportation statistics for USA are as follows: 1.87 million deported during the Clinton period of 1993to 2001, 2 million deported during the Bush Jr period of 2001 to 2008, and 3.2 million during the Obama period of 2009 to 2016. More details here.

In governance issues such as handling the illegal immigration threat, the judiciary should ideally have no jurisdiction. After all, it is the elected government that is in-charge of domestic and national security. It is a worrisome case of judicial overreach for courts to be entertaining PILs pertaining to Rohingya issues.

The center stand on this has rightly been unambiguous but it is perhaps time for the elected government to draw up a list of areas where courts cannot have any jurisdiction. Bharat is not a signatory to the 1967 Protocol pertaining to the status of refugees nor to the 1951 Refugee Convention, so we are well within our rights to deport illegal Rohingya immigrants.

As suggested here, it is imperative that Bharat devises a detailed refugee policy.


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About the Author

Anuradha
Writer, Editor, Researcher