New Delhi, Sept 14: The government on Thursday dispatched the first consignments of humanitarian assistance to Bangladesh, under Operation Insaniyat, in response to the humanitarian crisis being faced on account of the large influx of Rohingya refugees into Bangladesh following the alleged military crackdown on the minorities in Myanmar. The consignment was delivered by an Indian Air Force aircraft in Chittagong.
According to the Ministry of External Affairs, several consignments relief material will be sent to Bangladesh for Rohingya refugees. “The relief material consists of items required urgently by the affected people, namely rice, pulses, sugar, salt, cooking oil, tea, ready to eat noodles, biscuits, mosquito nets etc,” reads the MEA statement. The New Delhi promised to “provide any assistance required by Government of Bangladesh in this hour of need.”
This came days after Bangladesh briefed India about the problems faced by it due to the influx of refugees from Myanmar following the ethnic violence in the Buddhist-majority nation. According to the United Nations refugee agency, the UNHCR, at least 2,70,000 Rohingya refugees have fled from the violence-affected Myanmar`s Northern Rakhine state and sought refuge in Bangladesh where the limited shelter capacity is already exhausted.
Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the High Commissioner for Human Rights at the 36th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, on Monday criticised India for deporting Rohingyas to Myanmar where they are facing persecution. “The Minister of State for Home Affairs (Kiren Rijiju) has reportedly said that because India is not a signatory to the Refugee Convention, the country can dispense with international law on the matter, together with basic human compassion,” said Al Hussein.
India, in its response, strongly rebutted the criticism, saying it was based on selective and inaccurate reports and stressed that like other nations, New Delhi too is concerned about illegal migrants as they could pose security challenges. “Tendentious judgements made on the basis of selective and even inaccurate reports do not further the understanding of human rights in any society,” India said in a terse response to some of the observations made by the High Commissioner.