Indian politician says Rohingya, Bangladeshi migrants should be ‘shot’
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Indian politician says Rohingya, Bangladeshi migrants should be ‘shot’

A PROVINCIAL Indian leader from the country’s ruling party has sparked controversy over his calls to have Rohingya and Bangladeshi immigrants killed.

A report in ANI quoted Raja Singh, from the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) member of the Telangana Legislative Assembly in Hyderabad, as saying that Rohingyas and Bangladeshi illegal immigrants should leave India “respectfully”. Otherwise, then they should be “shot” or “eliminated”

“Only then will our country be safe,” he said.

“How is it right to keep foreigners in our country? There is no need to keep these pests in our country.”

Calling them dangerous, Raja claims the northeastern state of Assam has often seen riots due to the immigrants. This leads to the deaths of many innocent people, he said.

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He urged the central government to clamp down on immigration, similar to many other countries.

“If any country feels that there is a threat (of immigrants) they do so.

“If they feel the country is not safe, they kill them, they shoot at them.”

“Similarly, we need to shoot them. If they are not living with respect, they need to be shot.”

Raja also claimed over 1.5 million Bangladeshi immigrants are living illegally in Assam.

“These people are foreigners and they are to be sent back,” he reiterated.


An elderly Rohingya refugee woman named Rowshon Zol, 85, is taken by hammock to a medical centre in Kutupalong refugee camp in Cox’s Bazaar, Bangladesh, March 31, 2018. Source: Reuters/Clodagh Kilcoyne

Raja’s call, which has caused outrage on social media, comes at a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is looking to exclude four million people from the National Citizen Register in Assam.

Aimed at purging illegal immigration, the NRC was last updated in 1951. Over the decades the area has seen an influx of Bangladeshi and Rohingya immigrants in the border state.

According to Reuters, India does not have a deportation pact with Bangladesh. But the government has said it would decide on the fate of those eventually deemed foreigners in consultation with the Supreme Court, which is monitoring the registration process.

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Rights activists fear it might strip citizenship from many, especially Muslims who have lived in the region for decades.

“Assam has long sought to preserve its ethnic identity, but rendering millions of people stateless is not the answer,” said Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director of New York-based Human Rights Watch.

Indian authorities need to move swiftly to ensure the rights of Muslims and other vulnerable communities in Assam are protected from statelessness,” she said in a statement.