[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]~By Lilly Paul
Rohingya immigrants in India were given Long Term Visas in 2012 (valid till 2015), but this has been discontinued
As the problem of the forced Rohingya exodus increases, so does the criticism of Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi. She has not only been unable to stop the fleeing of these persecuted people but has been rather timid in her comments, having said that the situation is being twisted by a “huge iceberg of misinformation”.
“We make sure that all the people in our country are entitled to protection of their rights as well as, the right to, not just political but social and humanitarian defence”, she reportedly told Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a phone call on September 5.
There has been a move to ask the Nobel Committee to take back her Nobel Peace Prize. And, amid this hue and cry, Suu Kyi has decided not to attend the United Nations General Assembly this year. The Assembly is expected to discuss the Rohingya crisis in its session from September 19 to 25. Instead, Suu Kyi is expected to speak over a televised address on September 19.
The UN Security Council, after its meeting on September 13, issued its first statement on Myanmar in nine years. It has publicly condemned the violence and called on Myanmar to end its campaign against Rohingyas. The 15-member Council held its meeting behind closed doors at the request of Sweden and Britain.
The United Nations Human Rights Commissioner chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein called the Myanmar situation a textbook example of ethnic cleansing and also criticised India for its plan to deport Rohingyas at a time of violence in their country.
However, the Indian government is rather stiff towards UNHCR and its refugee undertakings in the country. Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju had earlier clarified that all illegal immigrants would be deported including the ones who have been issued ID cards by the UNHCR. There are 16,500 UN identified Rohingya refugees in India.
UNHCR told India Legal: “UNHCR is aware of the media articles reporting on the government’s plan to deport Rohingya. UNHCR has not received any official communication from the government in this regard and there are no reported instances of deportations of UNHCR registered Rohingya from India.”
Apart from being criticised by the UNHCR, India is also upsetting its immediate neighbours with its pro-Myanmar stand. According to reports, it was Bangladesh which was the reason behind India’s changed stance on the Rohingya refugee crisis. After Bangladesh High Commissioner Syed Muazzem Ali met India’s Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar, the Ministry of External Affairs released a statement declaring its concern over the situation in Rakhine and over the outflow of refugees from that region.
On the other hand, the protests inside the country against and in support of the Rohingyas have intensified further. On September 13, hundreds protested outside the Myanmar embassy in Chanakyapuri, Delhi against the government’s decision. The civil society along with human rights activists joined the Rohingyas in this protest. RJD spokesperson Manoj Jha and AISA student activist Shehla Rashid also joined the protest. Before this, the Rohingyas along with other Indians had protested at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi on September 5. Similar protests have been held in other cities as well such as Kolkata and Jaipur.
The anti-Rohingya sentiments are also on rise. Two PILs have been filed in the Supreme Court asking it to intervene in an ongoing hearing against Rohingya deportation. RSS ideologue Govindacharya and a Chennai-based group Indic Collective have sought to intervene in the matter asking to deport Rohingyas as they could probably be a threat to the country.
Amidst all this, one item of news from Hyderabad said a 20-year-old Rohingya man was arrested on the charge of cheating and forgery as he had obtained Indian identity card to get a passport and travel to Dubai. Mohammad Ismail was arrested along with an Aadhaar card, a Voter ID card and also a PAN card.
This brings us to another matter— what is the legal recognition provided to the Rohingya refugees in India, if at all.
In May, 2012, after a month long protest by the Rohingyas backed by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), India had granted them long-term visas (LTV). Although they protested to get official refugee status from the government, the Indian government did not give them any such recognition.
This was because India which is home to refugees from several countries has no refugee law of its own. India does not even differentiate between immigrants and refugees. As per UNHCR refugees are “persons fleeing armed conflict or persecution” whereas migrants are people who choose to move so as to improve their lives by finding work, or in some cases education, family reunion, or other reasons. However, India makes no such distinction. An illegal migrant as defined in Section 2 (1) (b) of the Citizenship Act, 1955 is a foreigner who entered India without a valid passport or travel documents or is staying in India after the expiry of the passport and other travel documents. There is no mention of refugees and granting them asylum.
However, India granted Rohingyas LTVs in 2012 which was to be valid until 2015. India continued with the granting of LTVs to Rohingyas.
Sabbir, Founder of Rohingya Human Rights Initiative, who runs a mobile repair shop along with an Indian partner, told India Legal: “In Delhi there are around 1,200 Rohingyas among which 800 to 850 people have already got long term visas from the Foreigner Regional Registration Office.”
However, the Indian government has now stopped giving Rohingyas LTVs and the FRRO website states that visas will only be granted to Pakistani and Bangladeshi nationals. It is unclear as to why did the Indian government stop granting them LTVs because as per a press release issued by Press Information Bureau titled “Law for refugees in India”, the government talks about circulating a standard operating procedure while dealing with foreign nationals “who claim to be refugees”.
The release dated August 6, 2014 mentions that long term visas will be permitted on grounds of persecution due to race, religion, sex, nationality, ethnic identity, membership of a particular social group or political opinion. In the case of Rohingyas, it is clear that they are being persecuted on the grounds of ethnicity and therefore they are eligible of getting long-term visas. Therefore there’s no point why the government decided to stop the LTVs.
UNHCR told India Legal: “The Government also issue Long Term Visas to refugees which eases their access to public services, bank accounts and employment in the private sector. Because of some recent changes to documentation processes, some refugees have reportedly been facing challenges in accessing public services and opening bank accounts with their existing documentation”.
The government is clearly discriminating between Rohingyas and migrants from other countries. Not only has it denied Long Term Visa to the Rohingyas despite accepting a standard operating procedure as per which they qualify to get LTVs, the government is granting special facilities to other religious communities. This Ministry of Home Affairs put out a statement in August, 2016 wherein it gave various facilities to persons belonging to ‘minority community’ in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, namely, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians, who are staying in India on LTV.
The government here, decided to issue PAN card and Aadhaar card to such people. Further, all benefits extended to such people will be linked to Aadhaar numbers. It is unclear as to how did the Rohingyas get Aadhaar card and other Indian ID cards. There is definitely a flaw in the Indian security system. It will now be even more difficult for the government to identify Rohingyas as many of the ones living here from long already have obtained ID cards and the other who have recently arrived are now desperate to get those cards or to leave the country and travel to safer places like Ismail tried to do.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
PM Modi joins fitness influencer Ankit Baiyanpuriya in Swachhata Hi Seva campaign | Watch here
Taking to X, formerly known as Twitter, PM modi shared a video of him doing the cleanliness work with the influnecer.
A day before Gandhi Jayanti, PM Modi participated with fitness influencer Ankit Baiyanpuriya in participated in the Shramdaan for cleanliness campaign as part of the Swachhata Hi Seva campaign.
Taking to X, formerly known as Twitter, PM modi shared a video of him doing the cleanliness work with the influnecer. Sharing the video he wrote, today, when the country focused on Swachhata, Ankit Baiyanpuriya and he did the same! Beyond only hygiene, they included wellness and fitness in the mix as well. It is all about that Swachh and Swasth Bharat vibe.
PM Modi can be heard asking Ankit in the video that how the Swachhata mission will benefit his physical health. Ankit responds, it’s up to us to maintain our environment clean. They’ll stay in shape if it stays clean.
Ankit added that Sonipat’s residents have been emphasising hygiene.
Fitness influencer Ankit Baiyanpuria, a former desi wrestler from Bayanpur, Sonipat, has earned notoriety for his advocacy of conventional and regional training techniques.
Ankit gained fresh notoriety earlier this year when he introduced the strenuous 75-day Hard Challenge to improve his mental toughness and self-control.
Ankit, who was raised by labourer parents, is well known on social media for his flawless training methods and distinctive routines that not only prioritise physical fitness but also encompass mental well-being with books like the Bhagavad Gita.
Ankit had to change his strategy in 2022 after dislocating his shoulder while participating in mud wrestling. He started documenting his fitness progress on Instagram.
He first learned about Andy Frisella’s 75-day Hard Challenge while learning fitness. In just 28 days, Ankit has accumulated more than 2.5 million followers! Ankit now has 4.9 million Instagram followers.
Leaders from all over the nation participated in the Shramdaan for Cleanliness session as part of the Swachhata Hi Seva campaign on Sunday after Modi urged citizens to participate in a cleanliness drive on October 1.
A number of Union ministers and MPs were spotted taking part in the nationwide cleanup effort for the Swachhata Hi Seva campaign, including BJP leader JP Nadda and Union home minister Amit Shah.
Uttar Pradesh: Differently abled woman dragged on road by police constables in Hardoi, investigation underway
SP Keshav Chandra Goswami added that the circumstances of the incident are being investigated and erring officers will be punished if they are proven guilty.
In a shocking incident, a differently-abled woman was dragged on the road by police constables at Hardoi, Uttar Pradesh. An investigation has been ordered into the matter after the video went viral across the social media platforms. Reports said that Superintendent of Police, Keshav Chandra Goswami took cognisance of the matter and directed a departmental enquiry into the incident.
The viral video that went viral across social media platforms showed a woman being dragged on the road by two police officers. The horrific incident took place outside the office of Superintendent of Police on Saturday. The video showed the woman being escorted by two police officers to the police station.
In the video, one woman officer is seen holding the woman by her leg and then being dragged along the ground towards the police station. While walking, the woman sat down in protest, following which the officers dragged her away.
Reports said that the woman is differently abled and has come to the SP’s office with a complaint after a dispute with her husband. However, instead of lodging her complaint, she attempted to climb the wall of the Superintendent of Police office.
The disturbing video highlights the high-handedness and coarse attitude of Uttar Pradesh police in dealing with the public. Speaking about the harrowing incident, SP Keshav Chandra Goswami added that the circumstances of the incident are being investigated and erring officers will be punished if they are proven guilty.
Hardoi police asserted that Shilpa Kumar has been assigned to address the woman’s complaint. They added that one of the woman police officials involved in the matter has been suspended. In addition, the two accused PRD policewoman, who are seen in the video, have been taken off duty and an inquiry has been ordered against them. Social media users have heavily criticized the behaviour of the police officials and called for immediate actions.
Swachhata Hi Seva: Home Minister Amit Shah cleans roads, participates in Shramdaan for Cleanliness program in Ahmedabad | Watch here
Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged citizens to take part in the campaign Ek Tareekh, Ek Ghanta, Ek Saath on October 1 at 10 am on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday took part in the Shramdaan for cleanliness program under Swachhata Hi Seva campaign in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Along with other leaders, the Home Minister can be seen cleaning a road in Ahmedabad. Beside Amit Shah, various political leaders from across the country joined hands and actively participated in the call for cleanliness drive by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Prime Minister urged citizens to take part in the campaign Ek Tareekh, Ek Ghanta, Ek Saath on October 1 at 10 am on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti. The initiative is a part of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan that conforms with Mahatma Gandhi’s vision for clean India.
Union Minister Piyush Goyal along with Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla participated in the Swachhata Hi Seva campaign in Kota, Rajasthan. On the other hand, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde actively took part in a cleanliness drive in Mumbai and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath also participated in the Swachheta Hi Seva campaign in Sitapur.
On Saturday, BJP President JP Nadda and Union Minister of State for Culture, Meenakshi Lekhi took part in the cleanliness drive at Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru stadium. At the event, Meenakshi Lekhi slammed the AAP government and stated that they are not working regarding the segregation of waste. Union Minister Raj K Singh also participated in the Clean India drive in the national capital.
Meanwhile, Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar took part in the campaign at Safdarjung Railway Station in Delhi. While participating in the campaign at Gurugram, Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw affirmed that a 14 minute clean-up protocol has been prepared for the Vande Bharat trains today and will be carried out at 35 places.
At the 105th episode of Mann ki Baat, PM Modi stated that a major cleanliness event is scheduled for October 1 at 10 AM.