New Delhi: In a first, India deported seven Rohingya refugees, lodged in the Silchar Detention centre in Assam since 2012, to Myanmar on Thursday after the completion of formalities. They were apprehended on July 29, 2012 for violating the Foreigners Act and have been handed over to Myanmar authorities at Moreh border post in Manipur. Those deported have been identified as Md Jamal, Mohbul Khan, Jamal Hussain, Md Yonus, Sabir Ahmed, Rahim Uddin and Md Salam and are in the age bracket of 26-32 years.
Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court had refused to interfere with Centre’s decision over their deportation. As per news agency ANI, Centre told the SC that Myanmar has accepted the Rohingyas as their citizens and has agreed to take them back.
Earlier on Wednesday, Advocate Prashant Bhushan mentioned the matter for urgent hearing before a bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi. He told the bench that if these refugees are deported they face the risk of persecution and even death. “Pass an order restraining the Union of India from taking any step towards the deportations of Rohingya refugees lodged in jails or detention centers in any part of the country in contravention of non-derogable principles of customary international laws and during the pendency of the case before this court,” the application filed by him read.
Last year, the Indian government had informed Parliament that over 14,000 Rohingya people, registered with the UN refugee agency UNHCR, stay in India. However, aid agencies estimate there are about 40,000 Rohingya people in the country.
Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims, described by the UN as the most persecuted minority in the world, fled their homes last year to escape an alleged crackdown by the Myanmarese military.