Rohingya issue: Centre set to file affidavit in Supreme Court

Unwanted Rohingya face threats in India and Nepal

Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju had on September 5 said the Rohingya were illegal immigrants and stood to be deported.

The Supreme Court had fixed September 18 for hearing a plea challenging the government's decision to deport illegal Rohingya Muslim immigrants back to Myanmar.

The government has made it clear that it is against Rohingya Muslims staying as illegal refugees in India.

The "incomplete" affidavit that was, on Thursday, sent "inadvertently" to some lawyers who have petitioned the Supreme Court on the Rohingya issue had said that it had 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". In the draft affidavit, the Centre said there were "contemporaneous inputs" received by it that indicated links of some of the unauthorised Rohingya immigrants with Pakistan and Bangladesh-based terror organisations.

The government fears that the north-eastern corridor that has already seen many insurgencies, including ULFA in Assam and Naga uprising in Nagaland as well as a volatile Manipur, could be further exploited by elements from the Rohingya Muslim community.

On August 18, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had issued notice to the Centre over its plan to deport the Rohingya immigrants, who have been residing in various parts of India.

Rohingyas are a threat to national security. "It (such statements) undermines India's security".

Erdoğan, Kofi Annan discuss Rohingya Muslims over phone
Shameful situation

However, as news spread of the government filing the said affidavit in the Supreme Court, the Central Agency Section (CAS) of the Union law ministry clarified late on Thursday night that the document was "incomplete".

The views of Centre were endorsed by former ambassador to Bangladesh, Veena Sikri, who said the decision to deport the Rohingyas is justified if viewed from the perspective of national security.

He further added: "Government is certainly fulfilling all its humanitarian obligations but at the same time Government of India can not consider religion and vote bank politics that BSP, SP and Congress are involved in".

It also said that India has ratified and is a signatory to various conventions that recognise the Principle of "Non- Refoulement', which prohibits deportation of refugees to a country where they may face threat to their lives".

The government's stand has been that infiltration of Rohingyas from Rakhine into Indian territory, especially in recent years, besides being a burden on the limited resources of the country, also aggravates security challenges posed to India.

The OCHA was concerned about reports of continued violence, fires, and displacement of tens of thousands of people in Rathedaung Township in Rakhine State, Dujarric said.


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