HYDERABAD: If refugees from Tibet, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka can stay in India, why not the Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) president Asaduddin Owaisi has said.
He also cited the case of Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen, who has taken shelter in India for over a decade now following threats from Islamic fundamentalists in her country.
Attacking the NDA government over its stance on Rohingyas, who are fleeing Myanmar's violence-hit Rakhine state, he said, "Is it humane that you want to send back those who have lost everything. This is wrong."
If Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen can take shelter in India, why not the Rohingya Muslims? he asked while addressing a gathering here late last night.
"When Taslima Nasreen became your sister, can't Rohingya become your brother, Mr Modi," Owaisi, the Lok Sabha member from Hyderabad, said.
The BJP government at the centre should not see the Rohingyas as Muslims but as refugees, he maintained.
"We want to tell the BJP government, don't look at them as Muslims. They are refugees," he said.
"India gave shelter to refugees from Tibet, those from Sri Lanka and Chakma refugees from Bangladesh," Owaisi said.
"When it was told that they (Lankan refugees) are taking part in terror, what was done? They were shifted from one camp to another," the All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader alleged.
The Constitution of India gives right to equality and that applies to refugees as well, Owaisi said.
"The BJP government says we will send all Rohingyas back. We want to ask the Indian prime minister, under which law you will send them back, which law?" he asked.