United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday urged India to support Bangladesh in providing humanitarian assistance to the Rohingya community and influence Myanmar to bring about reconciliation, reported PTI.
“What can India do? Support Bangladesh in helping these people because there is a huge humanitarian problem,” said Guterres, who is currently in India on a three-day visit. “Second, to pressure on Myanmar, the military in Myanmar for reconciliation and create conditions for these people to go back. These people will not go back in present circumstances.”
Last month, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina accused Myanmar of using delaying tactics to block the return of Rohingya refugees to their homes in Rakhine state. Hasina had said her nation was already reeling from the responsibility towards its 160 million population and could not provide a permanent refuge for the Rohingyas who were forced across the border.
More than 7 lakh Rohingya Muslims fled to neighbouring Bangladesh after the Myanmar Army started a crackdown in Rakhine state in August 2017. The crackdown was in response to attacks by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army on police posts and a military base. Myanmar treatsRohingyas as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and does not acknowledge their rights as an official ethnic group.
Guterres said keeping people in such a “discriminatory situation” could lead to terrorist groups exploiting the situation. “There should be accountability to those crimes,” he said, describing the Rohingya as one of the most discriminated communities in the world.
On Monday, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the Centre has asked states to collect biometric information about Rohingya refugees in India following which the government will take action through diplomatic channels with Myanmar.