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Treat Rohingyas as refugees not Muslims: Asaduddin Owaisi

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Jonathan Ernst  Reuters

United Nations agencies say an estimated 409,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh since August 25, when deadly attacks by a Rohingya insurgent group on police posts prompted Myanmar's military to launch "clearance operations" in Rakhine state. "It (such statements) undermines India's security".

Bangladesh, which is facing a big influx of Rohingyas from Myanmar, has called on the global community to intervene and put pressure on Myanmar to address the exodus.

However, other estimates indicate that around 40,000 Rohingyas are staying in India illegally and they are largely located in Jammu, Hyderabad, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi-NCR and Rajasthan.

The National Human Rights Commission will oppose the government's plan to deport Rohingya Muslims living in India, the body announced in a statement Saturday.

On Friday, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh was forced to clarify that the Centre will file its affidavit in the Supreme Court on the issue of Rohingya Muslim refugees in India on September 18.

While granting Indian citizenship to Chakma and Hajong refugees, the Centre on Wednesday maintained its stand on Rohingyas that they are "illegal".

The Rohingya refugees, a persecuted community of Muslims from Myanmar have fled the country in large numbers. According to home ministry officials there were almost 40,000 Rohingya Muslims staying illegally in the country.

Two Rohingya immigrants Mohammad Salimullah and Mohammad Shaqir, who are registered as refugees under the UNHCR, have moved the Indian Supreme Court, contending they have taken shelter in India after escaping from Myanmar due to widespread discrimination, violence and bloodshed against the community there.

Bangladesh High Commissioner in New Delhi Syed Muazzem Ali had met Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar last week and discussed the issue of Rohingyas in detail.

It cites intelligence inputs to say some sections among Rohingyas have links with terror groups and could be used by the ISIS for terror attacks in India.

The state governments have also been directed to set up a special task force which would identify illegal immigrants. Detection and deportation of such illegal immigrants from Myanmar's violence-hit Rakhine state is a continuous process, the Home Ministry communication to states said. "Why the BJP government want to send them back".

Should India accept the Rohingya refugees? "When it was told that they (Lankan refugees) are taking part in terror, what was done?" Myanmar has insisted that Rohingya insurgents and fleeing villagers themselves are destroying their villages.

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