Rohingyas are security threat, India govt tells SC

Sep 19, 2017, 01:00
Rohingyas are security threat, India govt tells SC

"Some of the Rohingya with militant background are also found to be very active in Jammu, Delhi, Hyderabad and Mewat and have been identified as having a very serious and potential threat to the national security of India", he said in a written statement to the court.

The Central government on Monday informed the Supreme Court over the deportation of Rohingya Muslims from India, saying there presence can pose national security threat to the country.

The Centre told the bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud that many Rohingyas "figure in the suspected sinister designs of ISI/ISIS and 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".

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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".

"In light of what is stated hereinabove, as the subject matter of the petition is not justiciable, as the fundamental rights of Indian citizens would be adversely affected, as there is serious national security threat or concern and when a just and fair procedure prescribed by law exists for deportation", the Centre said, in the affidavit. 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". India is not a signatory to the United Nations convention on refugees. "We will mention the same in our affidavit to be submitted in the Supreme Court". Their petition says that the Centre's plan to deport them violated worldwide conventions.

The petition was filed by two Rohingya Muslims-Mohammad Salimullah and Mohammad Shaqir-who are now living in India.

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In its last hearing on September 11, the top court had agreed to the plea of Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, that the matter be heard on September 18. NHRC had strongly supported the Rohingya Muslims.

Around 40,000 Rohingya Muslims are believed to have settled in India, including 16,000 who are registered with the UN's refugee agency.

Rights groups have urged India to abide by its worldwide obligations after the government said last month it had asked state authorities to identify and deport the Rohingya living in their terriory.

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Violence against Rohingyas lead to hundreds of cases of injury, death, destruction of property and displacement of 1.4 lakh people and around 1.2 lakh individuals shift to internally displaced camps in central Rakhine State in Myanmar.

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