India is set to deploy 6000 border guards along its border with Bangladesh, in order to keep Rohingya refugees out.
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At least five battalions of India’s Border Security Force (BSF) will be raised, the forces already having apprehended 87 Rohingyas from October of this year.
“The Rohingya issue is a complicated one. Our policy is to push them back and not arrest them,” KK Sharma, the Director General of the BSF said at a press conference in New Delhi.
“If we arrest anyone trying to infiltrate into India, then they become a liability and then there has to be a process of identifying them. So we just push them back.”
Around one million Rohingyas have fled persecution in Myanmar, seeking refuge in neighboring Bangladesh. The unavailability of basic amenities in the refugee camps there has prompted many to attempt to enter India.
According to government estimates, there are around 40,000 Rohingya Muslims in India — with the Indian government planning to deport them to Myanmar.
The Rohingya community, in the Rakhine state in Myanmar, has been under a military siege since October 2016 but has long been subjected to violence by extremists and the government.
The attacks escalated on Aug. 25, resulting in hundreds of Rohingya fleeing to neighboring Bangladesh. Hundreds more have died in their attempts to flee.
The Myanmar government sees the Rohingya, considered by the United Nations as the “most persecuted minority group in the world,” as “illegal immigrants” from Bangladesh. The Rohingya, however, claim roots in the region dating back centuries.
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The de facto government of Aung San Suu Kyi has prevented U.N. officials from investigating the situation, in addition to preventing aid agencies from delivering supplies to refugees.
The United Nations on Friday has said there is a “consistent, methodical pattern” of killings, torture, rape and arson against Rohingya Muslim refugees in Myanmar.