Union minister of state for home affairs and senior BJP leader Hansraj Ahir has slammed his own party's MP Varun Gandhi for having adopted a pro-refugee stance regarding the influx of Rohingya migrants into the country.
— ANI (@ANI) September 26, 2017
Ahir said "no nationalist" would support Gandhi, reported India Today. This difference in opinion has brought to the fore the conflict within the BJP regarding the issue. Reacting to Gandhi's article in NavBharat Times, Ahir said that anyone who wishes for the good of the nation would not want Rohingya in the country. After Ahir's remarks, Gandhi took to Twitter to clarify that he only sought a clear demarcation on how the refugees would be accepted.
As for the Rohingyas, I've called for empathy, leading potentially to asylum, while vetting each applicant for national security concerns. — Varun Gandhi (@varungandhi80) September 26, 2017
Ahir had previously said that India cannot trust Rohingyas as they are "illegal migrants".
"Let me make it very clear... they are not Indians, they are illegal migrants. We can't trust them," Ahir said, while speaking to a news channel. "These people came in small numbers and then Indian government sheltered them. But now the government has decided not to keep them," Ahir said.
He added that it's not in the nation's interests to keep Rohingyas in the country and that the government will not yield to any pressure.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh had last week said Rohingyas were not refugees who have applied for asylum in India but illegal immigrants who "will be deported".
The Indian government's previous plan to deport around 40,000 Rohingya refugees came under fire from the UN high commissioner for human rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.
In his opening statement at the 36th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva, Hussein said that around 14,000 Rohingyas living in the country are registered with the UNHCR and that India cannot carry out the deportations as per international law.
With inputs from agencies
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Updated Date: Sep 27, 2017 12:20:35 IST