Row as government sends 7 Rohingya immigrants back to Myanmar

Row as government sends 7 Rohingya immigrants back to Myanmar

Row as government sends 7 Rohingya immigrants back to Myanmar

The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to entertain the fresh plea challenging the decision of the Centre to deport seven Rohingya immigrants, who have been staying in Assam illegally, to their home country Myanmar. "In parallel, the individuals also requested in 2016 that the embassy of the Union of Myanmar should issue them relevant travel documents to facilitate their return to their own country", it said.

"We are not inclined to interfere on the decision taken", the apex court said.

They were concentrated in Rakhine state, the epicenter of a Myanmar army offensive that over the past year has driven 700,000 Rohingya Muslims into Bangladesh.

Sending them back to Myanmar would be "a grave violation of India's worldwide obligation to respect the customary global law principle of non-refoulement that creates an obligation on a country to not deport a person to a place where he/she may face persecution", the plea said.

The interim plea, seeking urgent measures to stop the proposed deportation of seven Rohingyas, was filed in a pending PIL. The plea was being heard by the bench headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi. These 7 Rohingyas had been in an Indian jail since 2012 for illegally entering India. They were handed over at the border town of Moreh in Manipur. They had been convicted under the Foreigners Act and detained at the Silchar detention centre.

The Indian government says it has evidence there are extremists who pose a threat to the country's security among the Rohingya Muslims who have settled in many Indian cities.

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It is wrong, they haven't been recognised, Prashant Bhushan replied, saying it was the responsibility of the court.

Thursday's expulsion marks the first such move by India and comes at a time when some of the country's local media have been picking on the Rohingya as troublemakers, engaged in everything from petty crime to acts of terrorism.

On August 2017, the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army attacked 24 police posts in the northern Rakhine state of Myanmar, followed by which the military of Myanmar cracked down on the Rohingya Muslims.

UN Special Rapporteur on racism, Tendayi Achiume, said in a statement, "The Indian Government has an global legal obligation to fully acknowledge the institutionalised discrimination, persecution, hate and gross human rights violations these people have faced in their country of origin and provide them the necessary protection". Under the 1982 Citizenship Law of Myanmar, they have been denied Myanmar citizenship as the Myanmar government claims that they are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and since then they are stateless minorities.

"Pass an order restraining the Union of India from taking any steps towards the deportation of any Rohingya refugees lodged in jails or detention centres in Assam or other parts of the country in contravention of non-derogable principles of customary worldwide law and during the pendency if the case", the plea said.

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