A politician from India's ruling nationalist party, Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), called the Rohingya and Bangladeshi immigrants as "pests" and that if they didn't leave India, they should be killed.
"If these Rohingyas and Bangladeshi illegal immigrants do not leave India respectfully, then they should be shot and eliminated," said Raja Singh, a Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) member of the Telangana Legislative Assembly in the South of India. "Only then will our country be safe ... "How is it right to keep foreigners in our country? There is no need to keep these pests in our country," the ANI News Agency reported.
This isn't the first time that Singh has made inflammatory remarks about immigration and incidents of lynching. He is known to have called Hyderabad's old city "a mini Pakistan" once.
The news comes at a time when just a few days ago the Narendra Modi's BJP government caused an uproar over the exclusion of 4 million people from a draft version of the controversial National Citizen Register (NRC) in Assam.
The register has been set in motion to create a list of all the legal citizens in the state and is being updated for the first time since 1951. It will be used to identify cases of illegal immigration into Assam from Bangladesh and other regions.
In order to be included in the register, people must prove they came to India by March 24, 1971, two days before Bangladesh declared independence after which hundreds of thousands of refugees fled to India, many of them settling in Assam.
Per the documentation, millions of people from Bangladesh were thought to have come to Assam since the 1970s, and an estimated 4 million continue to stay without official documentation. Only the northeastern state of Assam in India has this register.
India’s Supreme Court has ordered the government not to take any coercive measures in case the people are unable to provide the documentation to prove their citizenship.
In the run-up to the 2014 election, Modi appealing to his nationalist vote bank had said if he came to power, Bangladeshis would be deported.