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Rohingya Muslims in India


Six people were recently arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for reportedly being part of a conspiracy involved in the unlawful trafficking of Rohingya Muslims into Indian territory.


GS II- International Relations (India and its neighbourhood)

Dimensions of the Article:
  1. Who are the Rohingya?
  2. What are Issues & Concerns to India’s Security?
  3. What is the National Investigation Agency?

Who are the Rohingya?

  • The Rohingya people are stateless, Indo-Aryan ethnic group who reside in Rakhine State, Myanmar, and the Rohingya Muslims represent the largest percentage of Muslims in Myanmar.
  • They have their own language and culture and say they are descendants of Arab traders and other groups who have been in the region for generations.
  • They are described by the United Nations (UN) as one of the most persecuted minorities in the world.
  • But the government of Myanmar, a predominantly Buddhist country, denies the Rohingya citizenship and even excluded them from the 2014 census, refusing to recognize them as a people. It sees them as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.
  • Although Rohingya history in the region can be traced back to the 8th century, Myanmar law does not recognize the ethnic minority as one of the eight national indigenous races.
  • Despite mounting evidence and international pressure, Myanmar continues to deny it all. It says, it is just countering violent insurgent groups.
How does India view the Rohingya issue?
  • India maintains that Rohingyas are a threat to its national security and have links with international terror groups.
  • India has so far refused to exert any pressure on Myanmar for taking the Rohingyas back and giving them recognition as the citizens of Myanmar.

What are Issues & Concerns to India’s Security?

  • National Security Threat: The ongoing illegal immigration of Rohingyas into India, as well as their continued presence in India, has been discovered to have major national security implications and poses serious security dangers.
  • Conflict of Interests: It affects the interests of local residents in regions where large numbers of illegal immigrants are arriving.
  • Political Instability: When leaders start mobilising citizens against migrants in order to obtain political power, it creates political instability.
  • Militancy on the Rise: Persistent attacks on Muslims thought to be illegal immigration have resulted in radicalization.
  • Human trafficking: In recent decades, women’s trafficking and human smuggling have become widespread across international borders.
  • Disturbance in Law and Order: Illegal migrants who participate in illegal and anti-national activities jeopardise the country’s rule of law and integrity.

What is the National Investigation Agency?

  • The National Investigation Agency (NIA) Act of 2008 established it.
  • It is a primary agency tasked with investigating and prosecuting offences affecting India’s sovereignty, security, and integrity, as well as state security and friendly ties with other countries.
  • Opposition to atomic and nuclear power plants.
  • It carries out the United Nations’, its agencies’, and other international organisations’ international treaties, accords, conventions, and resolutions.
  • Its goal is also to fight terrorism in India.
  • It acts as the Central Counter-Terrorism Law Enforcement Agency.
  • Headquarters: New Delhi.

-Source: Indian Express

December 2023