Centre welcomes Hindus, Sikhs but not Muslims from other nations, Prashant Bhushan tells SC
The National Human Rights Commission raised the issue of the Rohingya refugees in the Supreme Court today. While batting for their rights, the NHRC sought for protection of Rohingya refugees in India including access of their children to schools and other facilities.
Represented by senior advocate, Gopal Subramanium, the NHRC said that the refugees had the right to approach the Supreme Court to secure their basic rights such as education, health care and security.
Appearing for the refugees, advocate, Prashant Bhushan said that the Indian government must be prevented from stopping more Rohingyas entering India because of the persecution they face in Myanmar. He siad that those Rohingyas who want to enter India to save their lives cannot be pushed back by the BSF using stun guns and chilli powder. This amounts to violation of the international conventions.
The Centre represented by additional solicitor general Tushar Mehta said that the petitioners have no complaint of any refugee being thrown out of the country. He said the Centre would file its reply in 4 weeks to the plea that sought to give refugee children access to education and other facilities.
Mehta told the Bench that the executive is taking diplomatic measures to resolve the issue and the court must permit the centre to discharge its constitutional duties.
Bhushan however pointed out that the Centre has a policy to welcome Hindu, Sikh and others, but not the Muslims from other nations. Why are Muslims from other countries not being welcomes, Bhushan asked.
Mehta however shot back and said that there was no welcome. The Bench intervened and said that the word welcome may be an exaggeration while posting the matter to March 7.