The Rohingyas are a security problem, the Centre said today, submitting an affidavit or written submission before the Supreme Court on the thousands of Rohingya Muslims who fled violence in Myanmar's Rakhine region and settled in India.
Rohingya Crisis: Around 40,000 Rohingyas, who have fled from Myanmar, have settled in India.
New Delhi: Deporting Rohingyas is an "executive policy decision" and the Supreme Court must not interfere, the centre said today, emphasizing in a written submission that the refugees from Myanmar are a "very serious and potential threat to national security". The Rohingyas are "indulging in anti-national activities" and channeling laundered money, the government said in its affidavit on a petition by two men challenging deportation by India. Home Minister Rajnath Singh later said the final call on the future of Rohingyas would be taken by the court.
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"...Some of the Rohingyas with a militant background are also found to be very active in Jammu, Delhi, Hyderabad and Mewat, and have been identified as having a very serious and potential threat" to national security, the centre said on thousands of Muslims who fled violence in Myanmar's Rakhine region and settled in India.
The influx, said the government, started in 2012. "Many of the Rohingyas figure in the suspected sinister designs of ISI/ISIS and other extremists groups who want to achieve their ulterior motives in India including that of flaring up communal and sectarian violence in sensitive areas of the country," said the centre.
Referring to "security agency inputs and other authentic material", the government said there were "links between some of the Rohingyas with Pakistan-based terror organisations and similar organisations" operating in other countries.
Also, there is a "serious potential and possibility of eruption of violence by the radicalized Rohingyas" against Buddhists in India, the affidavit said.
The Supreme Court is hearing the petition of two Rohingyas registered as refugees by the UN - Mohammad Salimullah and Mohammad Shaqir - who have said that deportation is against their fundamental rights. "We want to first see the legal position, what's the jurisdiction of court and what kind of jurisdiction can we invoke," said Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra.
The case will be heard next on October 3. Top lawyers Fali S Nariman, Kapil Sibal, Prashant Bhushan, Rajeev Dhavan, Ashwani Kumar and Colin Gonsalves are set to argue on behalf of the Rohingyas.
Prashant Bhushan told reporters on the centre's stand: "There is no evidence and this issue was raised in Jammu and Kashmir and the minister said no single FIR has been filed in the state...these kind of assertions are made by the government without proof."
The centre's comments today were perhaps stronger than those in a draft submission last week that it said was "wrongly circulated" to petitioners.
Around 40,000 Rohingyas have settled in India. About 16,000 are registered with the United Nation's refugee agency. The United Nations' top human rights body has criticised the government plan to deport Rohingyas, saying India "cannot carry out collective expulsions, or return people to a place where they risk torture or other serious violations."
The government has said that enforcing laws to deal with possible security threats posed by illegal migrants cannot be seen as a lack of compassion.