India on Saturday said it was “deeply concerned” with the ongoing violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state and the “outflow of refugees” from the region. New Delhi asked the Myanmar government to handle the situation with “restraint and maturity”.

At least 270,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar and entered Bangladesh since August 25, according to the United Nations.

The Ministry of External Affairs in a statement said Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his visit to Myanmar on September 6, had expressed his concern over the casualties of security forces as well as the innocent lives in Rakhine state. “He had also urged a solution based on respect for peace, communal harmony, justice, dignity and democratic values.”

The statement also condemned the attacks on the security forces in Rakhine state and urged Myanmar to focus on the welfare of the civilian population as well as the security forces. “It is imperative that violence is ended and normalcy in the state restored expeditiously,” it said.

The Indian statement came after Bangladesh asked New Delhi to put pressure on the Myanmar government to stop the Rohingya refugees from coming into Bangladesh, reported The Indian Express. Bangladesh High Commissioner Syed Muazzem Ali met Foregin Secretary S Jaishankar in New Delhi on Saturday and is believed to have asked him to explain India’s stand on the matter.

The Rohingya crisis

The Rohingya have been denied citizenship in Myanmar and are classified as illegal immigrants, despite them claiming roots that go back centuries. The community has been subjected to violence by the Buddhist majority and the Army in Myanmar. The country’s de-facto leader and Nobel Peace Prize-winner Aung San Suu Kyi has been criticised for failing to stand up for more than 1 million stateless Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine.

Rohingyas in India

On September 5, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said the government had set up a task force in various states to identify and deport Rohingya refugees in India. He maintained that the Rohingyas were illegal immigrants who needed to be deported “as per the law”.

On August 18, India’s National Human Rights Commission had issued a notice to the Home Affairs Ministry over its decision to send them back to Myanmar. Around 40,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees live in India across Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Rajasthan and Delhi.