India tells Myanmar to take back Rohingyas

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 16 Sep 2017 10:20:28


DHAKA,

Sept 15,

(PTI)

EXTERNAL Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has expressed solidarity with Bangladesh over the Rohingya crisis and said India was pressuring Myanmar to take back refugees who have fled the Buddhist-majority nation, a top aide of the Bangladeshi Prime Minister said on Friday.

More than 300,000 Rohingya Muslims have poured into Bangladesh since the latest flare-up in violence on August 25, adding to around 300,000 refugees already living in Bangladesh, close to the border with Myanmar. “She (Swaraj) called our Prime Minister last night and conveyed her country’s solidarity with Bangladesh over the Myanmar refugee issue,” Prime Minister Shiekh Hasina’s deputy press secretary Nazrul Islam told PTI.

He said Swaraj told the Bangladeshi premier that the crisis now appears to be an international issue and India was trying to put “pressure bilaterally and multilaterally on Myanmar to stop persecution of ethnic minority Rohingya Muslims” and take back the refugees who have fled to Bangladesh.

According to the spokesman, Hasina said Bangladesh was forced to offer refuge to the Rohingyas on humanitarian grounds as they fled their home at Myanmar’s western Rakhine state to evade atrocities. However, the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi, despite repeated attempts, did not comment on the call. A “deeply concerned” India had last week asked Myanmar to handle the situation in the Rakhine state with “maturity and restraint” while focusing on the welfare of the civilian population.

According to Islam, Hasina explained to Swaraj the helplessness and miseries of the refugees, particularly of the minor children and women, and said Bangladesh is trying to address their basic needs. “She (Hasina) told Swaraj that Bangladesh required external supports to handle the refugee issue and return them to Myanmar,” the spokesman said.

Hasina said her Government allocated land for makeshift shelters of the Rohingyas “but it will certainly create a big problem for Bangladesh if they stay for long”.Meanwhile, the Centre will file an affidavit in the Supreme Court on Monday on its plans to deport Rohingya Muslims, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Friday. The Supreme Court had asked the Government to file the affidavit on a plea against the deportation of illegal Rohingya Muslim immigrants to Myanmar