The National Human Rights Commission on Friday issued a notice to the Union Home Ministry over its decision to deport Rohingya Muslim refugees to Myanmar. It asked the ministry to submit a detailed report in connection with the matter within four weeks.

The commission said the refugees had been living in India for a long time, and feared persecution if they were to be pushed back to their native country. It further said that as per the Constitution of India, the Right to Life and Personal Liberty applies to all – irrespective of their citizenship.

“India has been home to refugees, for centuries. It has continued to receive a large number of refugees from different countries...Till today, the country has evolved a practical balance between human and humanitarian obligations on the one hand and security and national interest on the other,” it said.

There is a large Rohingya population in Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Rajasthan and Delhi. On Monday, Rijiju had said that all the estimated 40,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees in India are illegal immigrants and will be deported, including those registered with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.

On Thursday, the Human Rights Watch had urged the Indian government to “abide by its international legal obligations”. The organisation said the community needed protection from “systematic abuse” by officials and state security forces in Myanmar.