Rohingya Muslims are threat to national security, Centre tells Supreme Court in response to PIL

The Rohingya Musims cannot stay in India as they are a threat to national security, the Centre told the Supreme Court on Thursday. The central government was responding to the apex court's questions on deportation of Rohingya refugees in a PIL filed in the court.

The government further stated that some Rohingya are linked to terror groups, and hence can not be allowed to stay. CNN-News18's legal editor, Utkarsh Anand said that with this statement at the Supreme Court, the Centre has made it clear that the Rohingya are immigrants and cannot come to the Supreme Court because they are immigrants. "They do not have constitutional rights since they are considered illegal refugees," he added.

Rohingya refugees get food supplies. Reuters

Rohingya refugees get food supplies. Reuters

The government of India's anti-refuge stand on the Rohingya crisis is not new.

Earlier, when Rajnath Singh visited Jammu and Kashmir, he termed the Rohingya as a national threat, as per The Times of India.

"The illegal foreign immigrants will be strongly dealt with," Rajnath had told The Times of India, replying to a question on the Rohingya refugees living in various parts of India.

According to The Times of India, in August, the Centre had declared that the "Rohingya pose serious security challenges as they may be recruited by terror groups, and asked the state governments to identify and deport them".

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

Union minister VK Singh on Wednesday had said the government will follow its policy for refugees to tackle the Rohingya issue.

"The government will go according to the policy to deal with refugees... when the situation is good enough for them to return to their country," he told reporters.

Nobody wants to stay as a refugee, the minister of state for external affairs said.

Who are the Rohingya?

The Rohingya, a stateless Muslim minority, are regarded as illegal immigrants in Myanmar. The latest exodus, which began on 25 August, has come following a violent conflict between Myanmar Army and the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, according to Al Zazeera. A small group of Rohingya men had attacked around 30 police and army posts in Rakhine State, killing 12 officers, according to the government.

Around 40,000 Rohingya Muslims have settled in India, and nearly 16,000 of them have received refugee documentation, according to the United Nations. They are estimated to be around 3,00,000 Rohingya in Bangladesh.

UN human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein had on Tuesday accused Myanmar of waging a "systematic attack" on the minority.

Al Hussein had also criticised the Narendra Modi government for its anti-refugee stand on the issue.

Willing to offer aide but no refuge

The Centre's announcement comes as a setback to the Rohingya since on Thursday, India sent 53 tonnes of relief materials to Bangladesh for Rohingya Muslim refugees from Myanmar, who poured into Bangladesh following the ethnic violence in the neighbouring Buddhist-majority nation.

The first consignment of India's assistance comes days after Dhaka briefed New Delhi about the problems faced by it due to the influx of these refugees.

Bangladesh High Commissioner in New Delhi Syed Muazzem Ali had met foreign secretary S Jaishankar last week and discussed the issue of Rohingya in detail.

Rohingya Muslim girl Afeefa Bebi holds her few-hours-old brother at a community hospital in Kutupalong refugee camp, Bangladesh. APRohingya Muslim girl Afeefa Bebi holds her few-hours-old brother at a community hospital in Kutupalong refugee camp, Bangladesh.

"In response to the humanitarian crisis being faced on account of the large influx of refugees into Bangladesh, Government of India has decided to extend assistance to Bangladesh," external affairs ministry in New Delhi said in a statement.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Sep 14, 2017 16:49 PM

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