Geneva, September 13: India on Tuesday slammed the UN human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein who criticized New Delhi for the handling of Rohingya Muslim refugees, human rights situations in Jammu and Kashmir and observation relating to the killing of journalist Gauri Lankesh by saying it was "perplexed" at the remarks.
Notably, UN human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, while speaking at the 36th Session of the UN Human Rights Council on Monday, criticised New Delhi on the issue of deportation of Rohingyas as well as on religious intolerance and threat to rights activists.
Reacting strongly to it, Indian Ambassador K. Chander said that it was surprising that individual incidents are being "extrapolated" to suggest a broader societal situation. He also slammed UNHRC chief Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein by saying that the tendentious judgements made on the basis of selective and even inaccurate reports do not further the understanding of human rights in any society.
He said, “We are perplexed at some of the observations made by the High Commissioner in his oral update. There appears to be the inadequate appreciation of the freedoms and rights that are guaranteed and practiced daily in a vibrant democracy that has been built under challenging conditions. Tendentious judgements made on the basis of selective and even inaccurate reports do not further the understanding of human rights in any society.”
“Like many other nations, India is concerned about illegal migrants, in particular, with the possibility that they could pose security challenges. Enforcing the laws should not be mistaken for lack of compassion,” he added.
“It is also surprising that individual incidents are being extrapolated to suggest a broader societal situation. India is proud of its independent judiciary, freedom of the press, vibrant civil society and respect for rule of law and human rights. A more informed view would have not only recognized this but also noted, for example, that the Prime Minister himself publicly condemned violence in the name of cow protection. India does not condone any actions in violation of law and imputations to the contrary are not justified,” the Indian Ambassador asserted.
K. Chander also said, “We have also noted that the issue of human rights situations in the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir has been raised. It is a matter of regret that the central role of terrorism is once again being overlooked. Assessments of human rights should not be a matter of political convenience.”
“India believes that achieving human rights goals calls for objective consideration, balanced judgements and verification of facts. Our Government’s motto of "Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas” that is All Together and Development for All, is a true reflection of our commitment to achieve inclusive development in the spirit of leaving none of our citizens behind,” K. Chander concluded.
Earlier, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHR) Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said that India cannot carry out collective expulsions, or return Rohingyas to a place where they risk torture or other serious violations.
However, the statement of UNHRC chief came after India decided to ban Rohingya Muslims in the country and deport them immediately as they possess a threat to the country. The Ministry of Home Affairs has issued an advisory on the 8th of August this year which was circulated to all the states and Union Territories noted that Rohingya Muslims possess a great threat to country and countrymen, therefore the administration should identify all the illegal immigrants and deport them immediately.
Rohingyas currently stay in Hyderabad, Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana etc. Some 40,000 Rohingyas have settled in India, and 16,000 of them have received refugee documentation.
WHO ARE ROHINGYAS?
Rohingyas are ethnic Muslims of Myanmar living in Rakhine province in the Arakan region. Following clashes between dominant Buddhist communities in Myanmar, a large number of the Rohingya Muslims were forced to leave their country beginning 2012. The government of Myanmar does not recognize Rohingya Muslims as citizens. They are effectively stateless people since 1982 when Myanmar passed a new citizenship law. Officially, Myanmar government refused to recognize the Rohingya as an ethnic group.In 2015, Myanmar stated that as terminology, Rohingya had "never been included among over 100 national races of Myanmar." It says that Rohingya Muslims are mainly Bengali's settling in the country illegally after Myanmar's independence in 1948 and in the aftermath of 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War.
On the other hand, there are some references saying that Rohingyas had settled in the Arakan region as early as 15th century. Rohingya Muslims claim that they are native of the Arakan region. The term Rohingya is said to have its origin in word Rakhanga or Roshanga. Arakan's another local name is Rohanga.