Inside the Rohingya refugee camps, where torrential rain threatens safety

23 September, 2017, 00:28 | Author: Essie Rivera
  • Some of the newly arriving refugees receive relief in Ukhia's Balukhali

Union Home Ministry filed the 15-page affidavit in which it was stated, "As per law, it is completely illegal for Rohingya immigrants to stay in India and has submitted that their continuance in India would have serious national security ramifications and has serious security threats".

Most of the peace-loving refugees had no link to criminal activity, two Rohingya men protesting against the deportation move told India's top court on Friday. 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.

In India, more than 40000 Rohingyas continue to live.They are scattered all across the country including in places like Delhi, Jammu and Hyderabad. "They are illegal immigrants", he said. That is because the Rohingyas are "illegal migrants" in India but "refugees" in Bangladesh, he points out.

It is not surprising that the Government of India (GOI) does not want to keep the 40,000 Rohingya refugees who have taken shelter in India.

Rohingyas are minority Muslims in western Myanmar who have faced persecution in their country and fled to India and Bangladesh. No Rohingya has applied for asylum.

Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju on Monday asked the International Human Rights Commissions to not spread false information against India on Rohingya Muslims matter.

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The bench then fixed the PIL and several other interim applications, seeking to intervene in the case for hearing at 2 PM on October 3. "Myanmar's willingness to take Rohingyas [back] is a ray of hope", he said.

In a rejoinder petition to the Centre's September 18 affidavit, the two Rohingya immigrants said they are "not mere illegal migrants" because they fled Myanmar amid severe repression and genocide. "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. Rijiju said, "I request worldwide human rights' bodies to not spread misinformation about India and the Indian government, protecting the nation is our duty".

The United Nations says 409,000 Rohingyas have now overwhelmed Cox's Bazar since August 25 when the military in Buddhist-majority Myanmar launched operations in Rakhine state.

The Centre said that since India is not a signatory to the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, 1951, the obligations concerned to non-refoulement is not applicable.

Earlier this week, Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi has offered to take back those Rohingyas who wished to be back in Myanmar, but only after detailed verification.

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