19 September, 2017
The decision to deport 40,000 Rohingya Muslims, who are illegal immigrants from Myanmar, has been taken keeping in mind national security threats, the Centre told the Supreme Court on Monday through an affidavit.
In its affidavit, the Centre also requested the Supreme Court to allow the government to handle the case of Rohingyas' deportation and not interfere in the matter.
Spelling out the problems illegal immigrants were posing, the Centre further said that some Rohingyas were indulging in illegal activities such as mobilization of funds through hawala channels, procuring fake identify documents-PAN (permanent account number) and voter card-and indulging in human trafficking. "Whatever government will do, will be in nation's interest", Rijiju told reporters.
"It is submitted that continuance of Rohingyas' illegal immigration into India and their continued stay in India, apart from being absolutely illegal, is found to be having serious national security ramifications and has serious security threats". 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". As India has accommodated refugees coming from Tibet, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka, issue of Rohingyas refugees should also be considered in the same spirit.
The government took the step in response to a petition filed by two Rohingya refugees challenging the Centre's decision to deport approx 40,000 people of the community living in India. Their petition says that the Centre's plan to deport them violated worldwide conventions.
The government affidavit said there is an "organised network of touts operating in Myanmar, West Bengal and Tripura states of India to facilitate the influx of illegal Rohingyas" into India.More news: Southampton Premier League - 16 September 2017
The petition was filed by two Rohingya Muslims-Mohammad Salimullah and Mohammad Shaqir-who are now living in India.
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. NHRC had strongly supported the Rohingya Muslims.
The UN high commissioner for human rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, had also slammed the Indian government's stance, saying, "I deplore current measures in India to deport Rohingyas at a time of such violence against them in their country".
The matter will come up for hearing again on October 3.
Over the past few years, the Myanmar government has committed multiple atrocities on the Rohingya Muslims, who are considered "stateless entities".