Logo

Bangladesh opens talks with India on Rohingya refugee -The Asian Age


Bangladesh agrees to hold dialogue with India, after New Delhi plans to deport 40,000 Rohingya refugees residing in different Indian states. The parley between neighboring countries was prompted when India announced to deport 40,000 illegal refugees to Myanmar. Bangladesh for decades has held parleys with Myanmar, despite promises the Rohingya refugees were unable to their homes in Rakhaine state. Officials of both the countries also decided to hold parleys on crucial Rohingya refugee issue with Myanmar government, celebrating transition to democracy.

Indian Interior Ministry spokesman K.S. Dhatwalia told Indian media that the Rohingya issue things are being discussed at diplomatic level with both Bangladesh and Myanmar. A senior official in Bangladesh Foreign Ministry has complained of being burdened by the influx of refugees, said New Delhi was helping it solve the crisis. Neither Bangladesh nor India is a signatory to 1951 UN Conventionon Refu-gees and unfortunately no national law covers refugee laws, said an official of the Foreign Office.

Bangladesh follows a policy of making the country unwelcome for Rohingya refugees. The Rohingyas have lived in Myanmar for generations and Bang-ladesh government has called for Myanmar to take back the refugees. They are denied citizenship in Myanmar and have been described as the world's most persecuted minority.

Panic stricken Rohin-gyas have spilled over into both neighboring countries Bangladesh and India from strife torn Rakhine  state since the Myanmar military unleashed terror among Rohingya. Amnesty International report have stated that the Myanmar security forces are caring out the rape, extrajudicial killing, and burying homes belonging to the Rohingya in a December 2016 report.

Meanwhile India is in talks with both Bangladesh and Myanmar about its plan to deport around 40,000 Rohingya Muslims it says are living in the country illegally. Between October and November 2016, fresh exodus of 65,000 refugees fled troubled state in Myanmar to Bangladesh, after an insurgent group Harakah al-Yaqin attacked Myanmar border police posts.

Since the 1970s Rohingya refugees have been settling in Bangladesh, with an estimated 300,000 to 500,000 refugees in Bangladesh as of 2017. Most of the refugees are located along the Teknaf-Cox's Bazar highway that is parallel to Naf River bordering Bangladesh and Myanmar.

The majority of the refugees are unregistered, with only 32 thousand refugees registering themselves with UN Refugee Agency and the government of Bangladesh. The attack by Pakistan-based insurgent group attack at Bangladesh-Myanmar international border prompteda huge security crackdown in which Myanmar troops have allegedly committed crime against humanity on Rohingya civilians to suppress the sleeper cells in Rakhaine state.

The Rohingya in India live mainly in Jammu, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi in the north, Hyderabad in the south, and Rajasthan in the west and Junior Interior Minister Kiren Rijijutold Indian parliament on Wednesday that the federal government had directed the state governments to form task forces for the deportation of illegal foreign nationals.

Responding to a question in Parliament on Wednesday, Kiren Rijiju said that the government was firm on deporting about 40,000 Rohingya Muslims from the country. Rohingya's population has increased four times in the country in the last two years. In 2015, their population was estimated to have been 10,500, as per Kiren Rijiju's reply in the Lok Sabha (parliament) given two years ago.

Indian government says only around 14,000 of the Rohingya living in India are registered with the UN Refugee Agency, making the rest illegal and are eligible to be sent back. The decision has drawn flak from Amnesty International and said deporting and abandoning the Rohingya would be "unconscionable". While, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UN Refugee Agency) said it was "trying to find the facts" about New Delhi's plans to deport them.