The Indian government recently in an affidavit to the Supreme Court said that it plans to deport Rohingya Muslims over alleged “terror links”, even as they face a brutal military crackdown in Myanmar. The BJP government told the apex court that Rohingya Muslims posed national security threat and they could have links with Pakistan-based and global terror groups.
Going against the party’s official line, BJP MP from Sultanpur, Varun Gandhi, said Rohingya Muslims who are fleeing persecution in Myanmar should be given asylum in India after a proper vetting process. In an article in Navbharat Times, Gandhi has asked for “humane” ways to deal with the current Rohingya crisis.
Gandhi, citing various international conventions, called for a national refugee policy, which differentiates between people fleeing a country following persecution as opposed to those fleeing poverty.
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
Gandhi also wrote that India should not deport Rohingya Muslim refugees. He also asked people living in areas, where there’s a large number of refugees, to be sensitive towards refugees and educate others also.
However, Varun’s views haven’t been gone down well with the BJP. Hansraj Ahir, Minister of State for Home said Gandhi’s view is “against national interest.”
Ahir, while criticising Varun’s stand, told reporters that, “Jo desh ke hith mein sochenga woh is tarah ke bayan nahi dega (Anyone who has national interest in mind, won’t make such statements),” reported PTI.
Considering the BJP’s official stance on the issue, Ahir’s reaction is hardly surprising. However, Gandhi’s views certainly come as a surprise.
On Monday, the BJP, in its national executive meeting, adopted a resolution supporting the government’s stand on the Rohingya issue, saying it fulfilled its responsibilities by providing humanitarian relief to Bangladesh for Rohingya refugees while ensuring that internal security was not compromised for its 125 crore citizens.
Featured image source: AFP