Published: Sat, September 23, 2017
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Lashkar, Al-Qaeda has Rohingya links, say government sources

Lashkar, Al-Qaeda has Rohingya links, say government sources

As the Narendra Modi government in its affidavit to the Supreme Court recently stated its plans to deport around 40,000 Rohingyas now staying in different parts of the country, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said that India was bound by law not to deport the refugees.

This triggered an exodus of Rohingyas from Myanmar: half a million of them had to move to refugee camps. Were we to expel them to Bangladesh from where they came, we will not be endangering this Muslim population which Myanmar identifies as Bengalis, to persecution.

India's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party government's plan to deport the Rohingya has been challenged in the Supreme Court. "No illegal immigrant can pray for a writ of this Court which directly or indirectly confer the fundamental rights in general.", the affidavit filed by the Ministry of Home Affairs said.

Addressing a seminar organised by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), the home minister said, "The Rohingyas are not refugees".

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Senior Advocate Fali S Nariman today appeared for the Rohingyas in the Supreme Court challenging the decision of the Centre to deport them to Myanmar.

The Minister argued that there is a set procedure to follow in order to acquire refugee status, hence the Rohingyas now in India are illegal immigrants. They are illegal immigrants as much as the Bangladeshis who enter India illegally are. Official authorities and the Buddhist population consider Rohingya to be illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. "They are thus entitled to protection under various global conventions which India has signed and ratified which mention the principle of non-refoulement", the affidavit said.

The petition, filed by Commission's Chairperson Ananya Chakraborty, has been accepted for hearing and is expected to be heard on October 3. "Western human rights have been through struggle but in India it always existed. India is not a signatory to the 1951 UN Refugee Convention", he said, adding that the argument from some quarters that India would be violating global law in deporting them is not the case. Asserting that the presence of Rohingyas in India would be a drain on the resources of the country and would affect the rights of the people, the Centre on Monday pointed out that some of the Rohingyas had contacts with Pakistan-based terror outfits. He was two years' old when his parents were forced to flee their home in Rakhine state of Myanmar. Arakans is the old name for Rakhine province of Myanmar and the Rohingyas about whom much is written about these days originate from here. (AP) Rohingya Muslim woman Mustafa Khatoon is given water by a passerby as her daughter Hazra Begum waits for help to take her to a doctor near Mushani refugee camp.

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