NEW DELHI: A day after India strongly rejected the criticism by the UN human rights chief over its handling of Rohingya Muslim refugees, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said that the chorus of branding India as a villain is a calibrated design to tarnish country’s image.
“This chorus of branding India as a villain on Rohingya issue is a calibrated design to tarnish India’s image. It undermines India’s security,” tweeted Kiren Rijiju.
UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, in his comments at the 36th Session of the UN Human Rights Council, had criticised India on the issue of deportation of Rohingyas as well as on religious intolerance and threat to rights activists.
In a strong reaction, India said it was surprised that individual incidents are being ‘extrapolated’ to suggest a broader societal situation.
“We are perplexed at some of the observations made by the High Commissioner in his oral update. There appears to be inadequate appreciation of the freedoms and rights that are guaranteed and practised daily in a vibrant democracy that has been built under challenging conditions,” Ambassador Rajiv K Chander said.
Rejecting the observations by Hussein, Chander said, “Tendentious judgements made on the basis of selective and even inaccurate reports do not further the understanding of human rights in any society.”
Some 40,000 Rohingyas have settled in India, and 16,000 of them have received refugee documentation, the UN estimates.
Kiren Rijiju, on September 5 had said Rohingyas were illegal immigrants and stand to be deported.
The United Nations have appealed to the entire international community to keep the political differences aside and support the ongoing humanitarian efforts to help Rohingya Muslim refugees.