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Rohingya Muslims in India

  • 15 Mar 2022
  • 4 min read

For Prelims: National Investigation Agency (NIA), Rohingya Muslims, United Nations , South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol.

For Mains: Security Concern of India & its Neighbourhood.

Why in News?

Recently, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested six people who were allegedly part of a syndicate involved in the illegal trafficking of Rohingya Muslims into Indian territory.

Who are Rohingya Muslims?

  • Rohingya Muslims are described by the United Nations as the most persecuted minority in the world.
  • They fled their homes in 2017 to escape an alleged crackdown by the Myanmarese military.
  • To escape discrimination and violence in Myanmar, minority Rohingya Muslims have for decades fled from the Buddhist-majority country to neighbouring Bangladesh and other countries, including India.

What are Issues & Concerns to India’s Security?

  • Threat to National Security: The continuance of the illegal immigration of Rohingyas into India and their continued stay in India is found to be having serious national security ramifications and poses serious security threats.
  • Clash of Interests: It impacts the interests of local populations in the areas seeing large-scale influxes of illegal immigrants.
  • Political Instability: It also increases the political instability when leaders start mobilising the perception of the citizens of the country against the migrants by the elites to grab political power.
  • Rise of Militancy: The persistent attacks against the Muslims perceived as illegal migrants have given way to radicalisation.
  • Human trafficking: In recent decades, trafficking of women and human smuggling has become quite rampant across the borders.
  • Disturbance in Law and Order: The rule of law and integrity of the country are undermined by the illegal migrants who are engaged in illegal and anti-national activities.

What is the National Investigation Agency?

  • It was constituted under the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Act, 2008. It is a central agency to investigate and prosecute offences:
    • Affecting the sovereignty, security and integrity of India, security of State, friendly relations with foreign States.
    • Against atomic and nuclear facilities.
    • Smuggling in High-Quality Counterfeit Indian Currency.
  • It implements international treaties, agreements, conventions and resolutions of the United Nations, its agencies and other international organisations.
  • It’s objective is also to combat terror in India. It acts as the Central Counter-Terrorism Law Enforcement Agency.
  • Headquarters: New Delhi.

Way Forward

  • Need for Refugee Protection Framework: In spite of not being a party to the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol, India has been one of the largest recipients of refugees in the world.
    • Therefore, if India had domestic legislation regarding refugees, it could have deterred any oppressive government in the neighbourhood from persecuting their population and making them flee to India.
  • SAARC Framework on Refugees: India should take the initiative to encourage other countries in the South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) to develop a SAARC convention or declaration on refugees.

Source: IE

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