Govt Is Firm About Deporting Rohingyas Says Rajnath

The Supreme Court is already seized of a public interest petition filed by two Rohingya Muslim refugees challenging Indian government's decision to deport an estimated 40,000 people of the community who fled alleged persecution in Myanmar.

More than 40,000 Rohingya Muslims live in India, most of whom crossed into the country following widespread riots in Buddhist-majority Myanmar's Rakhine state in 2012.

It said the plan to deport Rohingya refugees was a policy decision and the court should desist from interfering.

The affidavit came in reply to the government stand that they were illegal immigrants who must go back to their own country.

The affidavit states that it has been "found by the Central Government that numerous Rohingyas figure in the suspected sinister designs of ISIS/other extremist groups who want to achieve their ulterior motives in India including that of flaring up communal and sectarian violence in sensitive areas of the country". No illegal immigrant can invoke writ jurisdiction of the court for enforcement of Fundamental Rights enjoyed by citizens only, the Centre further said.

Thai authorities have for years said they do not want to accept Rohingya refugees.

According to different assessments, from 14,000 to 40,000 Rohingya Muslims are now staying in India to avoid a military crackdown in Myanmar. Every country should have strict laws and clear policies on how to deal with illegal immigrants.

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Singh also said that India is not violating any worldwide convention and is not a signatory to the 1951 UN Refugees Convention.

The government told judges it has received information on Rohingya involvement in plots by ISIS and other "extremist groups" to ignite communal and sectarian violence in India.

Twenty three-year-old Mohammad Imran, a Rohingya who has grown up in a refugee camp in Bangladesh's Cox's Bazar after his family fled violence in Myanmar, says he is "disheartened" to learn that India sees Rohingya Muslims as a national security threat.

The bench then fixed the PIL and several other interim applications, seeking to intervene in the case for hearing at 2 PM on October 3.

The Rohingya, described by the United Nations as the world's most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.

Human Rights Watch urged India, the world's biggest democracy, to follow the global principle of non-refoulement, which prohibits sending back refugees to a place where their lives are in danger.

"We can confirm that two people were killed by wild elephants", local police chief Abul Khaer told a wire service, adding both the deceased were Rohingya civilians.

  • Sonia Alvarado