Rohingyas will be deported, says Centre

Lucy Bush
September 19, 2017

The apex court is hearing a plea against the government's decision to deport the refugees to Myanmar.

The Centre also pointed out that Rohingyas had made an illegal entry into India and there was a foolproof system in place to ensure they could easily sneak into the country.

Citing India's large population and its complex social, cultural and economic infrastructure, the Centre said that it would take a decision keeping in mind the larger interest of the nation along with other factors such as its natural resources, requirements of the country's population and the national security threat it may pose. It said that Rohingyas claim to have entered via porous borders between India and Myanmar but till date there were around 40,000 Rohingya immigrants living in India. Referring to the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, 1951, which states that refugees not be returned, and the Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees, 1967, the Centre said, "Since India is not a party to (either). the obligations contained therein are not applicable to India".

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There are about 16,000 UNHCR-certified Rohingya refugees in India.

A petition has been filed with India's Supreme Court, challenging the government's plan to deport as many as 40,000 Rohingya who have fled Myanmar.

The bench, while asking the petitioner to reply, posted the matter for further hearing on October 3, and said the legal position, including the court's jurisdiction, would be examined on that day. "That the provisions of Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, 1951 and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees, 1967 can not be relied upon by the petitioner since India is not a signatory of either of them".

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The affidavit was submitted as a response to a plea, filed by Rohingya immigrants Mohammad Salimullah and Mohammad Shaqir, claiming they had taken refuge in India after escaping from Myanmar due to widespread discrimination, violence and bloodshed against the community there.

Their plea challenged the government's deportation plan on several grounds, including violation of global human rights conventions. The Myanmar government considers the Rohingya to be economic migrants from Bangladesh.

The Indian government has contended that there was an organized Rohingya Muslim influx which started in 2012 and their number is around 40000 now.

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"It has also been found that many Rohingya figure in the suspected sinister designs of Islamic State and other extremist groups who want to achieve their ulterior motives in India including that of flaring up communal and sectarian violence in the sensitive areas of the country", read the draft.

Other reports by Info About Network

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