India hands over 7 Rohingyas to Myanmar as SC refuses to intervene
New Delhi, Oct 4: With the Supreme Court refusing to intervene, India has handed over the 7 Rohingyas to Myanmar on Thursday morning. They were handed over at the border town of Moreh in Manipur.
They had been taken from Assam to Manipur on Wednesday to be deported to their home country.
The deportation exercise was carried out by the government despite the United Nations Special Rapporteur on racism flagging concerns that their 'forcible return' could lead to 'refoulement' - the forcible return of refugees or asylum seekers to a country where they are liable to be subjected to persecution - which is in violation of international law.
The seven were held by security forces on the outskirts of Silchar in Assam in July 2012. They were kept in a detention centre since then on charges of illegal entry.
Earlier the Supreme Court rejected a petition that sought to stall the deportation of seven Rohingya Muslims to Myanmar. The plea was filed by advocate, Prashanth Bhushan who had sought to stall the deportation of the seven to Myanmar through the border point at Moreh in Imphal.
The Centre informed the court that the seven had entered India illegally in 2012. They had been convicted under the Foreigners Act and detained at the Silchar detention centre.
The Centre further said that Myanmar had accepted the Rohingyas as their citizens and agreed to take them back. That is the reason the Centre is facilitating their return to their country, the Centre represented by Additional Solicitor General, Tushar Mehta stated.
Bhushan on the other hand argued that the seven Rohingyas are sent back under duress and coercion. He requested the SC to ask the UNHRC officials to interview them and find out if they out of their free will would go back to a country which had unleashed the worst genocide against the Rohingyas.