The National Human Rights Commission on Friday issued a notice to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs over the planned deportation of about 40,000 Rohingya immigrants from Myanmar, asking for a detailed report within four weeks.
Taking cognisance of media reports, including The Hindu ’s on Thursday about the government’s plan to deport the Rohingyas by setting up “detention centres”, the NHRC observed that the “refugees are no doubt foreign nationals but they are human beings.”
‘They fear persecution’
“Before taking a big step, the Government of India has to look into every aspect of the situation, keeping in focus the fact that the members of the Rohingya community, who have crossed into India and are residing here for long, have a fear of persecution once they are pushed back to their native country,” it said in a statement.
While stopping short of commenting on the plan, the NHRC highlighted the Supreme Court’s decisions that say the Right to Life and Personal Liberty under Article 21 of the Constitution apply to all, irrespective of their citizenship.
It observed that its intervention in the matter was appropriate given the potential implication on the human rights of the Rohingyas.
The NHRC said that though India was not a signatory to the 1951 Convention on Refugees and the 1967 Protocol, it was a signatory to many United Nations and world conventions on human rights. “Till today, the country has evolved a practical balance between human and humanitarian obligations on the one hand and security and national interests on the other,” it said.
According to The Hindu report, the contents of which the NHRC referred to in its observation, the government is planning to set up “detention centres” and if needed push back the Rohingyas if Myanmar doesn’t accept them.