Fiftyone prominent citizens, including former Union Minister and Congress leader P Chidambaram and former home secretary GK Pillai, on Thursday urged the government not to forcefully deport the Myanmar refugees.
In an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the citizens, also including Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, lawyer Prashant Bhushan, urged him to exert India's "diplomatic clout to pressure the Government of Myanmar to end the security crackdown in Rakhine, respect the rule of law and ensure the eventual safe and unhindered return of those Rohingya who wish to go home".
Earlier, the Home Ministry had told the Supreme Court that Rohingyas were a threat to national security and the Government cannot allow them to stay here. The citizens' letter, also signed by NCP MP DP Tripathi, lawyer Kamini Jaiswal, human rights activist Harsh Mander, urged the government to "lead a global response to this crisis, and embark on a strategy that includes concrete actions" to deal the issue. "As an aspiring global leader of the twenty first century, India cannot afford to adopt a short-sighted approach to what has now become a monumental, global crisis. Our actions must now align with our ambitions. In the absence of strong, international leadership, India has the opportunity to craft a bold, new approach and pave the way for a new kind of leadership", they said in the letter. The letter says that it is India's national security interest to ensure that all hostilities against the Rohingya community come to an immediate halt and India's credibility as a net security provider for the neighbours in the region would be severely compromised if the country fails to act on behalf of the broader interests in the region