Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju on Tuesday defended the government’s decision to deport Rohingyas, saying they were illegal migrants who did not have same rights as any ordinary Indian.
He said that international organisations and human rights bodies were unfairly accusing the government of being harsh towards the Rohingyas.
“Let me make it very clear. Rohingyas are illegal migrants and not Indian citizens… So they are not entitled to anything that any ordinary Indian citizen is entitled to,” Rijiju told a press conference.
He said his statement in the Parliament regarding deportation of Rohingyas was based “completely on a legal position”.
“They are illegal migrants and as per law, they stand to be deported. So we have instructed all state governments to constitute task force to identify Rohingyas and start the process of deporting them.
“It’s a completely legal process,” Rijiju said.
However, he added, India is a nation with democratic tradition.
“We are not going to throw them in the middle of the ocean or going to shoot them. Why are we being accused of being very inhuman,” he asked adding that international human rights organisations were unnecessarily targeting the central government.
“India has absorbed maximum number of refugees in the world. So no one should teach India the lesson on how to deal with refugees,” he said.
Rijiju had earlier told Parliament that the central government had directed state authorities to identify and deport illegal immigrants, including Rohingyas.