Petition and Debate
Two Rohingya refugees have filed a petition against Indian decision to deport an estimated 40,000 people of the community who fled alleged persecution in Myanmar. The petition has been closely followed by Human Rights and many experts. The issue has been debated for some time now. Human Rights watch has urged India to obey the international principle of non-refoulement which prohibits sending back the refugees to a place where their lives are in danger. Experts have contemplated the possible place where the rohingya Muslims can be deported to.
Central Government told SC that many Rohigya Muslims are linked to IS and ISI. In its response to the petition, the Central government has backed its decision by suggesting that the Rohingya Muslims are a ‘serious security threat’ to India. The government said that letting Rohingya Muslims stay may lead to social tensions and disorder in law due to the possible exhaustion of natural resources in India. The Government informed the court that the decision to deport Rohingya Muslim was a policy decision of government and the court should not intervene. The government further added that the “radicalized” Rohingyas may wreak violence against Indian Buddhists.
The Ministry of Home affairs said in the affidavit, “Any indulgence shown by the highest court of the country would encourage the illegal influx of illegal migrants into our country and thereby deprive the citizens of India of their fundamental and basic human rights.”
The government further added that many Rohingya Muslims have taken advantage of the porous borders of Eastern part of India and have migrated to India over years.
According to United Nations, there are 16,000 registered Rohingyas in India, but many more are documented. The UN Human Rights Commission slammed India over its stand on the Rohingya crisis, last week.
Response of SC
The Supreme Court will take up the question of its jurisdiction over the matter. The bench of Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra told the lawyers, “We will see the legal position, whether we have the jurisdiction or not.” The court has fixed the hearing on the matter for 3rd of October. Senior Counsel Fali S.Nariman, who wanted a hearing on Friday, can approach the court earlier if any untoward incident takes place with the migrants. Nariman argued in favor of Rohingya Muslims.
The court also refused to issue a formal notice to the National Human Rights Commission to know the stand of an independent body.
A spokesperson of Congress commented, “Such participatory interaction will only help the government. A blanket approach is never helpful”
It is important to listen to the plea of both sides and try to understand the stand of two parties over the issue. In 2013, UN described Rohingya Muslims as one of the most persecuted minorities in the world. The issue raised by the government is not incorrect. However, it is important to understand the fact that Rohingya Muslims are homeless and they might face execution if they are deported. Under such circumstances, it is the duty of India to come forth and try to resolve the issue in the best possible way.