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Posted at: Sep 13, 2017, 3:17 PM; last updated: Sep 13, 2017, 9:46 PM (IST)

Calibrated move to tarnish India’s image on Rohingya issue: Kiren Rijiju

Calibrated move to tarnish India’s image on Rohingya issue: Kiren Rijiju
Rijiju said criticism of India on the Rohingya, who have entered India illegally, undermines the country’s security. AFP file
Mukesh Ranjan

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 13

Union Minister Kiren Rijiju on Wednesday slammed attempts to brand India as a “villain” on the Rohingya refugee issue, saying it was a “calibrated design” to tarnish the country’s image.

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The Union Minister of State for Home’s comments came two days after UN human Rights Chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein flayed any attempts by India to deport Rohingya to Myanmar.

Rijiju said criticism of India on the Rohingya, who have entered India illegally, undermines the country’s security.

“This chorus of branding India as villain on Rohingya issue is a calibrated design to tarnish India’s image,” he said in a tweet.

“It (such statements) undermines India’s security,” Rijiju said.

So far the Centre, in an advisory, has asked all the states to identify Rohingya Muslims living in their respective territories for deportation, as they have come to India due to alleged persecution in Myanmar and thus they are illegal immigrants.

Rijiju had earlier said the Rohingyas were illegal immigrants and stand to be deported. He had also said that India has absorbed the maximum number of refugees in the world.

The Minister had said no one should try to “demonise” India as a country hostile to refugees as it is not going to “throw” the Rohingya into the “ocean” or “shoot” them but will follow due process of law before their identification and deportation.

The issue came to the fore after the Union Home Ministry in July had said illegal immigrants like the Rohingyas pose grave security challenges as they may be recruited by terror groups, and asked state governments to identify and deport them.

The government had told Parliament on August 9 that according to available data, more than 14,000 Rohingyas, registered with the UNHCR, are presently staying in India.

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