The Centre and the Assam government on Tuesday made it clear that Rohingya immigrants from Myanmar have to return to their native country.
The assertion came on a day the Bharatiya Janata Party held a conference of party Chief Ministers and leaders from the north-eastern states and discussed the issue that could also come up between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and leaders in Myanmar on Wednesday.
Speaking on the sidelines of the meeting of the North-East Democratic Alliance in the national capital, Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said: “They (Rohingyas) are illegal immigrants in India. Deportation has to be through legal process.”
Rijiju said no force will however be used.
“We are not going to use force to throw out anybody. Such image may be painted that we are very inhuman; we are not. In fact, no other country has accepted as much refugees as India,” he said.
Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh said the government was very clear that the Rohingyas should go back.
“The Home ministry has time and again reiterated… India’s position as far as Rohingya settlements in India are concerned is very clear — they have to go back. That also applies equally to Rohingyas who have settled in different parts of the country, including Jammu and Kashmir. There is no ambiguity about it,” he said.
Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said there was no more place for any immigrant in the north-eastern states, adding that they would tell the same to the Supreme Court if the state government was asked.
“The north-eastern states are totally opposing any further immigration. We already have enough (immigrants). So, the north-east should not be used for more immigrants, including Rohingya Muslims,” he said.
Sarma said that Assam was not party to a case in this regard in the Supreme Court. “Had it been a party, or if there was an order, Assam will go to the court and say ‘there is no space for further migrants’.”