Rohingya in India

The Rohingya, originally inhabitants of the Rakhine State in Myanmar have been targets of the Myanma state for a long time (Mohajan, 2018). The Buddhist-majority state has committed mass killings, persecutions and sexual assaults against the Rohingya (Albert & Maizland, 2020), grave atrocities which first surfaced in 2012 and later intensified in 2017-18 (Albert & Maizland, 2020). Since then, millions of Rohingya have sought refuge in the neighbouring states of Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia (Albert & Maizland, 2020). They have also been called the “most persecuted minority in the world” by the United Nations (Human Rights Council, 2017; UNHCR, n.d.).

Trapped in the misery of persecution leading to statelessness and abandonment, reports show that their hardships have worsened after fleeing to India, as Rohingya refugees are further victimized on religious grounds: Religious right-wing Hindutva trolls have accused Rohingyas of being agents of Islamic terrorism and of carrying out militant attacks in parts of India (Chaudhury, 2018). Hindu right-wing media houses such as OpIndia and OneIndia have drawn elaborate conspiracy theories to link Rohingya involvement with ISIS and Lashkar-e-Taiba, overwhelmingly on grounds of them being predominantly of Muslim faith. In the current report we focus on data surrounding the arrival of the Rohingya refugees in India, and the subsequent response of the Indian government. The report also looks at India’s obligations under International Law to protect Rohingya refugees, and highlights how the Indian government has ignored its international responsibility of protection through the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 (CAA).