'Wait for affidavit to know government's stand on Rohingyas'

World       by Haider Ali Sindhu | Published

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said that the government's stand regarding the Rohingyas will be cleared on 18 Sep to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court has fixed Monday for hearing of a plea challenging the government's decision to deport illegal Rohingya Muslim immigrants back to Myanmar.

An estimated 380,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees have fled Myanmar and reached Bangladesh after a crackdown by Myanmarese security forces in response to an attack on a military outpost by Rohingya militants on August 25.

Meanwhile, on Thursday Centre had withdrawn an affidavit on the same issue which was presented in the Supreme Court on the grounds that it had not yet been finalised and was served inadvertently.

The affidavit filed on behalf on central government in the top court described Rohingyas as a major threat to the national security, as they are "likely to be used by ISIS" and other transnational extremist outfits to carry out attacks on the Indian soil.

The Centre also said that it was found that there were organised network of agents and touts facilitating illegal migration of Rohingyas in India. Earlier, minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju had said that while India had absorbed maximum number of refugees anywhere in the world, attempts were being made to demonise India.

The government fears that the north-eastern corridor that has already seen many insurgencies, including ULFA in Assam and Naga uprising in Nagaland as well as a volatile Manipur, could be further exploited by elements from the Rohingya Muslim community. "It undermines India's security", Rijiju tweeted.

The government of India's anti-refuge stand on the Rohingya crisis is not new. There are intelligence inputs that some Rohingyas are linked with terror groups, which are very active in Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi, Hyderabad and Mewat, it said.

Bangladesh, which is facing a big influx of Rohingyas from Myanmar, has called on the global community to intervene and put pressure on Myanmar to address the exodus. The Indian government issued a sharp rebuttal to this, saying India is "proud of its independent judiciary, freedom of press, vibrant civil society and respect for rule of law and human rights". It is unlikely that India or China would open their doors to allow Rohingya Muslim refugees to enter owing to real or perceived security concerns.

Analysts said India can not avoid taking a strong stand on a humanitarian cause if it wants to be taken seriously as a candidate for a seat in the United Nations Security Council.

The government's draft affidavit says there is no "violation of fundamental rights of the petitioner" in this case. At the same time, both India and China are "competing for Myanmar's attention", Rossow, who is also Wadhwani Chair in US-India Policy Studies at the CSIS, said.

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