New Delhi: Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Governor Satya Pal Malik on Monday said that the biometric details of Rohingya refugees living in the state will be collected within two months.
“The process of collection of biometric details of Rohingya Muslims in J&K will start soon and should be completed in next two months,” Malik told media in Jammu.
The Governor rejected media allegations that Rohingya Muslims were treated in an inhuman manner in J&K.
“There is no inhuman treatment towards illegal immigrants in the state. We are collecting data so that we can know how many Rohingya Muslims are staying here,” he added.
Malik’s statement came days after union Home Minister Rajnath Singh hailed the apex Supreme Court’s (SC) recent decision in favour of deportation of seven Rohingya Muslims from Assam to Myanmar.
“If someone is entering the country through illegal means and they are stopped, even this is termed a rights violation. Whether they are Bangladeshi infiltrators or Rohingya, no inhuman action has been taken against them in India. Recently, seven Rohingya were repatriated. Which country considers stopping intruders a human rights violation?” Singh had questioned last month.
Referring to the appeal filed before the court against deportation of Rohingyas, Singh said, “it is a cause of concern that when strong action is taken against anti-social and anti-India elements, some people start making a hue and cry over human rights violations. But strong action doesn’t always mean something inhuman has been done.”
Earlier this year, Singh had written a letter to J&K government, stating that illegal migrations by Rohingyas posed serious challenges to the state.
“There are security implications of this since some of the migrants have been found to have indulged in illegal activities and are vulnerable to radicalisation,” Singh said in the letter.
Last year, the Narendra Modi-government had told the top court that Rohingyas were a threat to national security as they had links with terror groups.
However, senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan had stated in the court that the government’s move was against the United Nations (UN) Charter on Human Rights.
“The worst kind of genocide had taken place in Myanmar in which over 10,000 people were killed. Due to the genocide, people were killed and their properties destroyed and several lakhs of Rohingyas migrated to Bangladesh and India. They are not illegal migrants, but refugees. The court should direct sending UN High Commissioner or his representative to talk to the seven Rohingyas so that they are not deported under any kind of duress,” Bhushan argued.
Meanwhile, the United Nations has expressed concern over the forcible return of Rohingya Muslims from India as “it violated international law.”
“The Indian Government has an international legal obligation to fully acknowledge the institutionalised discrimination, persecution, hate and gross human rights violations these people have faced in their country of origin and provide them the necessary protection,” UN Special Rapporteur on Racism Tendayi Achiume recently said in a written statement.