India voices concern | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, September 10, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:37 AM, September 10, 2017

India voices concern

Dhaka tells Delhi about refugee issue

India yesterday said it remained deeply concerned about the situation in Rakhine State of Myanmar and the outflow of refugees from that region.

In a statement, India's Ministry of External Affairs said, “We would urge that the situation in Rakhine be handled with restraint and maturity, focusing on the welfare of the civilian population alongside those of the security forces.” 

During Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recent visit to Myanmar, “he had expressed his concern about the casualties of security forces and other innocent lives. He had also urged a solution based on respect for peace, communal harmony, justice, dignity and democratic values”, it noted.

It is imperative that violence is ended and normalcy in Rakhine restored expeditiously, said the statement, put on the twitter handle of Raveesh Kumar, official spokesperson of MEA.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh High Commissioner to India Syed Muazzem Ali yesterday met India's Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar apprising the latter of the humanitarian situation out of the exodus of a large number of Rohingyas, fleeing persecution in Myanmar.

The meeting, sought by Muazzem Ali as part of Dhaka's international diplomatic campaign on the Rohingya issue, took place at Jaishankar's South Block office and lasted nearly an hour, diplomatic sources told The Daily Star.

They said the high commissioner explained to Jaishankar how the exodus of Rohingya refugees is putting severe strains on Bangladesh's limited resources in sheltering and looking after them.

The presence of such a huge number of Rohingyas in a small geographical area of Bangladesh is badly stretching Dhaka's resources and the situation would worsen if the pace of exodus increases in the coming days, Muazzem Ali told Jaishankar.

Bangladesh would like India to be firmly with it at this hour of the Rohingya refugee crisis, the sources said.

The meeting between the envoy and the top Indian diplomat took place a day after Modi returned from his first bilateral state visit to Myanmar.

During his stay in Naypyidaw and after his talks with State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, Modi backed Myanmar government in the fight against “extremist” violence in Rakhine.

The Indian PM didn't mention the persecution of the Rohingyas.

In another development, Indian Federal Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said yesterday that it would be difficult for Delhi to offer any relaxation to Rohingyas who have fled Myanmar.

The matter is pending before the Supreme Court and the government is also looking into it, PTI quoted Naqvi as saying at a “parliamentarian conclave” in eastern Indian city of Patna.

"But I do not think we will be able to give any relaxation to them [Rohingyas] when their nation has refused to keep them," he said.

The Supreme Court had on September 4 sought the government view on a petition challenging its decision to deport illegal Rohingya migrants in India back to Myanmar. The matter has been posted for hearing on September 11 (tomorrow).

India's Junior Minister for Home Kiren Rijiju on Tuesday last said the Rohingya people are illegal migrants and stand to be deported.

Most of the Rohingya refugees in India have settled in Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan states and Delhi and its adjoining areas.

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