" --IANS"
New Delhi, Aug 18 - The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Friday sought details from the Home Ministry on its plan to deport about 40,000 illegal Rohingya Muslim immigrants of Myanmar to their native country.

Taking suo motu cognizance of the media reports regarding the government's plan, the NHRC issued notice to the Home Ministry calling for a detailed report on the matter within four weeks.

The Commission has observed that refugees are no doubt foreign nationals but they are human beings and before taking a big step, the Government of India has to look into every aspect of the situation, the NHRC said in the notice.

It also pointed out that the members of Rohingya community, who have crossed into the Indian borders and are residing here for long, have a fear of persecution once they are pushed back to their native country.

The Commission has held that from the human rights angle, its intervention is appropriate in the matter. It further noted that India has been home to refugees for centuries.

The Rohingya immigrants, who fled to India after violence in the Western Rakhine State of Myanmar, have settled in Jammu, Hyderabad, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi-NCR and Rajasthan.

A Home Ministry official has, reportedly, said that India was going ahead with plans to deport Rohingyas and is in discussions with Myanmar and Bangladesh governments on the issue.

The NHRC in a statement also pointed out its findings based on the media report that the government is reportedly also planning to set up detention centres for the refugees and if required push them back over the India-Myanmar border, if Myanmar refuses to accept the refugees back.

The Commission has observed that the Supreme Court has consistently held that the Fundamental Right enshrined under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution regarding Right to Life and Personal Liberty, applies to all, irrespective of the fact whether they are citizens of India or not.

India is not a signatory to the 1951 Convention on Refugees and also the 1967 Protocol. But India is a signatory to a number of United Nations and World Conventions on Human Rights, the NHRC said.

--IANS

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