Who are the Rohingya Muslims and why are they are a threat to India
The government announced that it proposes to deport 40,000 Rohingya Muslims who are living illegally in India.
The Centre has directed the state governments to identify Rohingya Muslims living illegally and deport them.
Who are the Rohingya Muslims
The Rohingyas are a minority ethnic Muslim group based in Buddhist-dominated country of Myanmar or Burma. They initially stayed in an independent kingdom of Arakan in the 8th century. This is today known as the Rakhine state of Myanmar.
In 1784, thousands of refugees fled to present day Bangladesh after the Burman King Bodawpaya conquered Arakan. In 1982, a new immigration law classified all migrants during British rule as illegal, even Rohingya.
This new law does not recognize Rohingya as part of Myanmar's 135 official ethnic groups and restricts them from studying, traveling, working, access health facilities and marriage. The Rohingya are seen as illegal Bangladeshi immigrants.
Why are Rohingya Muslims a security threat to India:
Not long back the chief of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba, Hafiz Saeed had sympathised with the cause of the Rohingya Muslims. He urged everyone to come forward and support their cause. Intelligence Bureau officials have very often warned that the Rohingyas are vulnerable to recruitment by terror groups.
The investigations into the Bodhgaya blasts in Bihar found that the act was carried out to avenge the atrocities meted out to these persons. The IB has often warned that they need to be kept under watch. Several terror groups have made attempts to recruit Rohingya Muslims into their fold.
How does the Government plan to deport Rohingya Muslims?
A mechanism is being chalked out to deport them under the Foreigners Act. According to India law, the 'refugees' here are mere foreigners that are living illegally which is the violation of the Foreigners Act and thus are subjected to prosecution and deportation.
The UN has registered most of them. In fact close to 16,500 Rohingya Muslims have been issued identity cards by the UNHRC to prevent them from being harassed or subject to arbitrary arrests. However that would not stand in the way of India deporting them. India is not a signatory to the accord on refugees.