first_imgFormer Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi says the “Rohingya crisis is a humanitarian one and India cannot simply push back those seeking asylum”.Reacting to The Hindu’s report on Saturday that the BJP-led governments in Northeast India have asked the State police forces to push back any Rohingya refugee trying to cross the border, Mr. Gogoi said, “As a country which is concerned about human rights, how can we simply push them back into the country from where they are fleeing because of persecution.”The senior Congress leader maintains that such a stand is a violation of the principle of non-refoulement — not to send asylum seekers back to a hostile country — and “the Government of India should take up with the United Nations to force Myanmar to give the Rohingya citizenship rights”. “It is unfortunate if refugees are also divided along religious lines by the BJP governments in the north-east. They talk about population control but says we welcome Hindu Bangladeshis. If the idea is to welcome minorities who are persecuted, then Rohingya qualify too,” Mr. Gogoi say.He says the north-eastern region can’t handle the burden of more refugees but the “issue has to be dealt with in a humane way.” Suggesting that the Centre convene an all-party meeting and prepare a standard operating procedure to deal with refugees, Mr. Gogoi said, “We should be prepared to provide some temporary shelter if someone crosses the border.”Congress for consensusThe Congress said on Monday that the Modi government “must take all sections of the political spectrum into confidence” on the issue of Rohingya refugees and evolve a national consensus.Addressing presspersons, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi advised caution on the Centre’s position in its affidavit in the Supreme Court that India was not bound by international treaties when it was a question of national security.last_img

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