Medicine

India trying to deport 40000 Rohingya Muslim over 'ties to terrorism'

India trying to deport 40000 Rohingya Muslim over 'ties to terrorism'

An affidavit filed by the government in the Supreme Court says Rohingya refugees are a security threat and they must be deported to Myanmar, a stand that is likely to rile human rights activists.

Several Union Ministers, as well as Ministers in the Assam government, have in the past said that the Rohingyas are illegal immigrants in India and will have to leave the country. It said the fragile northeastern corridor may be further destabilised by strident Rohingya militancy, that the Centre found was growing, if allowed to continue.

"The total number of such illegal immigrants into our country would be more than 40,000 approximately as on date".

In a separate development, Indian police say they have arrested British national Shauman Haq, 27, near a bus stop in Delhi on Sunday and allege that he had come to India via Bangladesh specifically to recruit Rohingya to fight for al-Qaeda.

# The Home ministry stated in the affidavit submitted to the SC that it had "contemporaneous inputs from security agencies and other authentic material" which indicate a Rohingya link to Pakistan-based terror groups and such other terrorist outfits in the South Asian region.

The Centre has filed an affidavit in Supreme Court on the Rohingya issue, saying that the decision to deport them is an "executive policy decision" and the Supreme Court must not interfere in it.

Asserting that the Rohingya issue was very sensitive and the Centre's "blanket approach" will not help sort out the matter, the Congress on Monday demanded the government to take all parties into confidence.

"We were told to hand over our demands to a peon, which we did not do", Haque said.

The petition said Rohingya refugees had taken refuge in India after escaping their home country Myanmar due to widespread discrimination, violence and bloodshed against them in their home state. The Rohingya villagers said they wanted to leave but needed government protection from ethnic Rakhine Buddhists who had threatened to kill them.

"India should not be behaving like the abusive Myanmar government", said HRW's South Asia director Meenakshi Ganguly. Whatever the Government of India does, it will be in the nation's interest.

The Rohingya Muslims live in India after fleeing Myanmar over the past decade.

India is not a signatory to Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, 1951 and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees, 1967, and is hence not bound by their provisions. More than 500,000 people - roughly half their population - fled to neighboring Bangladesh in the past year, most in the last three weeks.

The immigrants also challenged their deportation on grounds of violation of global human rights conventions.