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Freedom Politics

Govt to collect biometric data of Rohingyas to keep a tab on movements and deport them

CJP 01 Oct 2018

Calling all Rohingya refugees in India “illegal immigrants”, the home minister had said on Thursday the state governments have been asked to observe their movements and obtain their personal details so they could be deported to Myanmar.


Rohingya
 
New Delhi: The government of India as a part of a country-wide security exercise has asked all states to record biometrics details of Rohingyas and other illegal immigrants living in their jurisdiction, according to Home Ministry officials, reported PTI.
 
The move has been initiated purportedly to identify illegal immigrants wherever they go in the country.
 
Calling all Rohingya refugees in India “illegal immigrants”, the home minister had said on Thursday the state governments have been asked to observe their movements and obtain their personal details so they could be deported to Myanmar, the PTI report said.
 
Around 14,000 Rohingyas living in the country are registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, while about 40,000 are said to be staying illegally, as reported. They are also known as the largest stateless population in the world.
 
It is unfortunate how our home minister forgot to differentiate between refugees and illegal immigrants. Are those who fled their country due to persecution at home and entered into our border to save their lives, and are duly registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, are illegal immigrants?
 
Since Rohingya refugees are mostly Muslims they have been the target of criticism in our country and are seen as evil-mongers involved in illegal activities.
 
Earlier in July, Home Minister Rajnath Singh had said in Parliament that some Rohingya Muslim migrants in India have been found indulging in illegal activities and maintained that security forces have been deployed to stop their infiltration into the country.
 
In a communication dated September 26, Saturday, the Southern Railways received a ‘secret’ missive by the home minister that Rohingyas were travelling to southern states with their families. “A day after Home Minister Rajnath Singh said at a public speech in Kerala that Rohingyas have started entering Kerala, a communication from the Railway Protection Force (RPF) marked ‘secret’ claimed that a huge number of Rohingyas are coming to Kerala by train,” reported the News Minute.
 
“All Rohingyas are travelling in groups along with their families,” the note further added. “Officers and staff under your control may be sensitised about their movements. If they are found in trains they may be handed over to police having jurisdiction for further action. Action taken report may be sent to this office at the earliest for the perusal of Principal Chief Security Commissioner (PCSC),” the missive directed said the TNM report.
 
Bangladesh has been the worst hit by the influx of Rohingya Muslims from Rakhine state. After the brutal crackdown by Myanmar army on minorities in the country specially in Rakhine state where majority of Rohingya Muslims live, more than 700,000 people left Myanmar and crossed over to Bangladesh to save their life after losing everything there.
 
Though those refugees are living in cramped tent shelters with minimum facilities, Bangladesh has extended its support on humanitarian grounds. Bangladesh government has also been trying for their early repatriation to their country and is negotiating with the Myanmar government.
 
Refugees are bound to return to their home countries once the condition improves over there and they are assured of their safe return and smooth settlement.
 
“The official said capturing the biometrics details does not mean that they will be given any valid identification document. Documents such as Aadhaar can be issued only to those non-citizens, who visit India legally and are residents in India for minimum six months but the Rohingyas, being illegal migrants, do not qualify for it, the official said,” the PTI report said.
 
“The Supreme Court on Wednesday had also directed the government not to issue Aadhaar card to illegal immigrants. Calling all Rohingya in India “illegal immigrants”, the home minister had said Thursday the state governments have been asked to observe their movements and obtain their personal details so they could be deported to Myanmar,” the report said.
 
“Since August, when the Myanmar government began its brutal ethnic cleansing campaign, over 688,000 Rohingya Muslims have escaped over the border to Bangladesh. The refugees have gathered in camps in a border area known as Cox’s Bazar, where the sheer scale of the crisis threatens to overwhelm the local authorities. UNHCR and the Bangladeshi government register every refugee over the age of five, collecting fingerprints and photographs. Refugees are only able to receive aid after being enrolled in the database,” reported Wired.
 
“The Rohingya are fleeing violence and persecution on the basis of their identities. Now their most intimate information is being collected and stored in a database over which they have no control. Instead, the power lies with humanitarian agencies – and, worryingly, with the Bangladeshi government,” the report said.
 
What will this data be used for and if the consent of the minority was taken before collecting their personal details is not known. Just how Aadhaar details were bought for a sum online, what disaster could the information on the persecuted minority bring?

 

Govt to collect biometric data of Rohingyas to keep a tab on movements and deport them

Calling all Rohingya refugees in India “illegal immigrants”, the home minister had said on Thursday the state governments have been asked to observe their movements and obtain their personal details so they could be deported to Myanmar.


Rohingya
 
New Delhi: The government of India as a part of a country-wide security exercise has asked all states to record biometrics details of Rohingyas and other illegal immigrants living in their jurisdiction, according to Home Ministry officials, reported PTI.
 
The move has been initiated purportedly to identify illegal immigrants wherever they go in the country.
 
Calling all Rohingya refugees in India “illegal immigrants”, the home minister had said on Thursday the state governments have been asked to observe their movements and obtain their personal details so they could be deported to Myanmar, the PTI report said.
 
Around 14,000 Rohingyas living in the country are registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, while about 40,000 are said to be staying illegally, as reported. They are also known as the largest stateless population in the world.
 
It is unfortunate how our home minister forgot to differentiate between refugees and illegal immigrants. Are those who fled their country due to persecution at home and entered into our border to save their lives, and are duly registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, are illegal immigrants?
 
Since Rohingya refugees are mostly Muslims they have been the target of criticism in our country and are seen as evil-mongers involved in illegal activities.
 
Earlier in July, Home Minister Rajnath Singh had said in Parliament that some Rohingya Muslim migrants in India have been found indulging in illegal activities and maintained that security forces have been deployed to stop their infiltration into the country.
 
In a communication dated September 26, Saturday, the Southern Railways received a ‘secret’ missive by the home minister that Rohingyas were travelling to southern states with their families. “A day after Home Minister Rajnath Singh said at a public speech in Kerala that Rohingyas have started entering Kerala, a communication from the Railway Protection Force (RPF) marked ‘secret’ claimed that a huge number of Rohingyas are coming to Kerala by train,” reported the News Minute.
 
“All Rohingyas are travelling in groups along with their families,” the note further added. “Officers and staff under your control may be sensitised about their movements. If they are found in trains they may be handed over to police having jurisdiction for further action. Action taken report may be sent to this office at the earliest for the perusal of Principal Chief Security Commissioner (PCSC),” the missive directed said the TNM report.
 
Bangladesh has been the worst hit by the influx of Rohingya Muslims from Rakhine state. After the brutal crackdown by Myanmar army on minorities in the country specially in Rakhine state where majority of Rohingya Muslims live, more than 700,000 people left Myanmar and crossed over to Bangladesh to save their life after losing everything there.
 
Though those refugees are living in cramped tent shelters with minimum facilities, Bangladesh has extended its support on humanitarian grounds. Bangladesh government has also been trying for their early repatriation to their country and is negotiating with the Myanmar government.
 
Refugees are bound to return to their home countries once the condition improves over there and they are assured of their safe return and smooth settlement.
 
“The official said capturing the biometrics details does not mean that they will be given any valid identification document. Documents such as Aadhaar can be issued only to those non-citizens, who visit India legally and are residents in India for minimum six months but the Rohingyas, being illegal migrants, do not qualify for it, the official said,” the PTI report said.
 
“The Supreme Court on Wednesday had also directed the government not to issue Aadhaar card to illegal immigrants. Calling all Rohingya in India “illegal immigrants”, the home minister had said Thursday the state governments have been asked to observe their movements and obtain their personal details so they could be deported to Myanmar,” the report said.
 
“Since August, when the Myanmar government began its brutal ethnic cleansing campaign, over 688,000 Rohingya Muslims have escaped over the border to Bangladesh. The refugees have gathered in camps in a border area known as Cox’s Bazar, where the sheer scale of the crisis threatens to overwhelm the local authorities. UNHCR and the Bangladeshi government register every refugee over the age of five, collecting fingerprints and photographs. Refugees are only able to receive aid after being enrolled in the database,” reported Wired.
 
“The Rohingya are fleeing violence and persecution on the basis of their identities. Now their most intimate information is being collected and stored in a database over which they have no control. Instead, the power lies with humanitarian agencies – and, worryingly, with the Bangladeshi government,” the report said.
 
What will this data be used for and if the consent of the minority was taken before collecting their personal details is not known. Just how Aadhaar details were bought for a sum online, what disaster could the information on the persecuted minority bring?

 

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