The Modi government has extended humanitarian aid to Bangladesh to deal with Rohingya Muslim refugees fleeing Myanmar, but it would tackle “those sections sternly” when it comes to national security, BJP general secretary Ram Madhav said today. “As far as the Rohingya issue is concerned, our government’s position is very clear. Where it is a humanitarian question, there the government has immediately stepped in and extended help to Bangladesh government in tackling that problem. “But when national security concerns are involved, we will deal with those sections very sternly,” he told reporters here.
India already has serious security concerns over illegal migrants staying in a number of its cities, he said. Earlier in the day, the government told the Supreme Court that Rohingya Muslims are “illegal” immigrants in the country and their continued presence has “serious national security ramifications”. The BJP leader termed as “appropriate” the government’s position in the Supreme Court. “The government has given appropriate answer to the Supreme Court in this regard. The matter is before the Supreme Court,” he said. “The influx of sections of Rohingyas has also a potential to cause serious challenge to national security here,” he said.
Lakhs of minority Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar following alleged persecution by the military, mostly to Bangladesh. Nearly 40,000 Rohingyas are living in different places in India. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has issued identity cards to about 16,500 of them.