India Seeks Deportation of Rohingya for Security Reasons
A petition has been filed with India’s Supreme Court, challenging the government’s plan to deport as many as 40,000 Rohingya who have fled Myanmar.
The top court began hearing the plea Monday.
The government said in a statement to the court that the Rohingya are “illegal” immigrants and some of them pose “a very serious and potential threat to the national security of India.”
The lawyer representing the Rohingya said the Indian constitution “provides equal rights and liberty to every person,” including non-citizens.
The hearing will continue next month.
One of the petitioners, who said he has been in India for at least five years, said he was hopeful that the court would support the refugees.
The Rohingya have been fleeing Myanmar for decades.
Some 400,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar in recent weeks, following Rohingya militant attacks on police posts in August that triggered military retaliation. Most of the Rohingya fled to Bangladesh, but others have ended up in India, Nepal and Pakistan.
The Rohingya are one of Myanmar’s many ethnic minorities in the Buddhist-majority nation. The Myanmar government considers the Rohingya to be economic migrants from Bangladesh. Myanmar has never granted them citizenship, even though most can show their families have been in the country for generations.
Amnesty International recently accused Myanmar of deliberately targeting Rohingya by placing landmines along the routes the refugees use to flee.