Tamu (Indo – Myanmar border ), Oct 4 : Seven Rohingyas who are to be deported to Myanmar were brought from Silchar to Imphal by the Assam Police on Wednesday The team left for Moreh early morning and the Rohingyas will be deported at the Myanmar immigration office located at Indo-Myanmar Friendship Gate after completion of certain formalities ,this afternoon.
Deepak Kumar, Inspector General (Law and Order) of Assam said that The Myanmar nationals who were arrested along with Rohingyas in 2017 are now being deported back. Seven of them are being deported while cases are still going on in the matter of 13 others.
They will be handed over to Myanmar border guards and India has obtained travel permits for them from Myanmar authorities.
For the first time India will be sending the seven Rohingya Muslims back to Myanmar in the first deportation of members of the Myanmar minority group since the Home Ministry ordered state authorities last year to identify and deport them and other people in the country illegally.
About 700,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh to escape a brutal campaign of violence by Myanmar’s military.
An estimated 40,000 Rohingya have taken refuge in various parts of India. Less than 15,000 are registered with the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.
According to Associated Press many have settled in areas with large Muslim populations, including the southern city of Hyderabad, the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, New Delhi, and the Himalayan region of Jammu-Kashmir. Some have taken refuge in northeast India bordering Bangladesh and Myanmar.
The Indian government says it has evidence there are extremists who pose a threat to the country’s security among the Rohingya Muslims who have settled in many Indian cities. India is fighting insurgencies in northern Kashmir and in northeastern states.
India’s top court is hearing a petition filed on behalf of two Rohingya Muslims challenging a government decision to deport the ethnic group from India.
The Rohingya approached the Supreme Court after India’s junior home affairs minister, Kiren Rijiju, told Parliament last year that state governments had been asked to identify and deport people who entered the country illegally, including Rohingya.
Rijiju said India would deport all Rohingya refugees, including those who have been registered by the U.N. refugee agency.
The Assam government on Wednesday sent seven Myanmar nationals from detention camp in Silchar to Imphal from where they would be deported to Myanmar this afternoon.
A report in the Hindustan Times said that they are widely believed to be Rohingya Muslims but no government official was willing to go on record about the ethnicity of the deportees. The Myanmar border at Moreh, is about 50 km south of Imphal. The seven had been held at the Silchar central prison in Cachar district since 2012 on charges of illegal entry.
According to a Assam state intelligence officer, there are about 32 Rohingya refugees in detention camps in Assam. At least 15 of them including seven minors are in Tezpur.
According to documents with the Hindustan Times they are from Rakhine state in Myanmar and were apprehended in 2014 by the government railway police.
The UNHCR which had requested access to detained Rohingya refugees in Assam, have not been given permission by the government so far.
Ahead of the deportation, a UN human rights expert had expressed alarm at the government’s deportation plan saying returning the seven Rohingya refugees to Myanmar could violate international law.