Supreme Court of India clears hurdles for first ever deportation of 7 Rohingyas to Myanmar

Supreme Court of India clears hurdles for first ever deportation of 7 Rohingyas to Myanmar

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court of India on Thursday cleared last minute hurdles leading to the first ever deportation of seven illegally migrated Rohingyas, staying in Assam, to Myanmar by dismissing the plea which sought to thwart the government’s move.nnJust after the court’s order, the authorities concerned deported the seven illegal immigrants, who had migrated to India in 2012.nnThe top court said that these Rohingyas were convicted by the competent court under the Foreigners Act and were held to be as illegal immigrants.nnA bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and K M Joseph said that even the country of their origin Myanmar has identified them and accepted them as its citizens.nn”Having considered the prayer, we would not like to interfere with the decision taken. The petition is dismissed,” the bench said.nnThe bench rejected the plea made by one of the Rohingyas, who had filed an application seeking to restrain the Centre from deporting to Myanmar the seven Rohingyas lodged in a detention centre at Silchar in Assam.nnThose deported were Md Jamal, Mohbul Khan, Jamal Hussain, Md Yonus, Sabir Ahmed, Rahim Uddin and Md Salam — all in the 26-32 year age bracket.nnThe top court took the case as first matter after advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for petitioner Jaffarullah, informed the court that it is an urgent issue as the seven Rohingyas were taken to the Indo-Myanmar border from where they will be deported.nnDuring the hearing, Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre said that these Rohingyas illegally migrated to India in 2012 and were convicted under the Foreigners Act.nnHe said that after the conviction they were sent to a detention centre and the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had contacted the Myanmar embassy for identification of these seven Rohingyas.nn”Following the verification, Myanmar government issued a certificate of identity to the seven Rohingyas along with one month visa to facilitate their deportation,” he said, adding that after getting the travel documents they were taken to the border.nnThe bench, asked Mehta that does his submissions made before the court were on an affidavit.nnMehta replied in an affirmative and read out the relevant paragraphs saying that these seven Rohingyas had illegally entered into the territory of India.nnHe said that authorities concerned caught them and put them in detention centre following their conviction by a competent court.nnMehta said that after the MEA contacted embassy of Myanmar and they confirmed the Myanmarese citizenship of the illegal immigrants following which one month visa and relevant documents were issued.nnThe bench then told Bhushan, “First of all they have been held as illegal immigrants by the concerned court and secondly the country of their origin has accepted them as its citizens. Now what remains”.nnBhushan said that Myanmar had earlier refused to accept these Rohingyas as its citizens.nnHe said that after the genocide which has happened in Myanmar in which over 10,000 people have died, lakhs of Rohingyas have migrated to Bangladesh and India.nnBhushan added that even United Nations have termed it was a worst kind of genocide in which many Rohingyas have been killed and their properties destroyed.nn”These are not illegal immigrants but refugees who have migrated due to genocide in their country. The court should direct sending UN high commissioner or his representatives to talk to these seven Rohingyas. If they are willing to go back to their country, then its fine but they should not be sent under some kind of duress”, he said.nnThe bench said it would not like to interfere with the decision and dismissed the petition.nnBhushan said it is a matter of life and it is the court’s responsibility to see that the lives of Rohingyas are protected.nnHowever, the bench was not in agreement with his submission and said, “You don’t need to remind us of our responsibilities. We very well understand our responsibilities”.nnThe application was filed by one Jaffarullah, who said Rohingyas should not be deported under any kind of duress as they have migrated due to “genocide” in Myanmar.nnRohingya immigrants were handed over to the authorities of Myanmar at Moreh border post in Manipur.nnThe interim plea, seeking urgent measures to stop the proposed deportation of seven Rohingyas, was filed on a pending PIL.nnThe PIL was filed earlier by two Rohingya immigrants — Mohammad Salimullah and Mohammad Shaqir — challenging the Centre’s decision to deport over 40,000 refugees who came to India after escaping from Myanmar due to alleged widespread discrimination and violence against the community.nnThis is for the first time Rohingya immigrants were sent back to Myanmar from India.

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