Ro­hingyas a se­cu­rity threat: Govt’s ‘un­fi­nalised af­fi­davit’

Hindustan Times (Gurugram) - - News - HT Cor­re­spon­dent let­ters@hin­dus­tan­

An af­fi­davit pre­pared by the gov­ern­ment for pos­si­ble fil­ing in the Supreme Court said Ro­hingya refugees are a se­cu­rity threat and they must be de­ported to Myan­mar.

The af­fi­davit was not filed, and the gov­ern­ment said it was “un­fi­nalised” and did not nec­es­sar­ily re­flect its fi­nal po­si­tion. A copy of it emerged in the me­dia on Thurs­day after the gov­ern­ment mis­tak­enly served it to a lawyer who has moved the SC against a plan to de­port the refugees.

“The copy served on you has not been filed in the Supreme Court of In­dia. Kindly, there­fore do not treat the copy served on you as the af­fi­davit of the cen­tral gov­ern­ment,” the gov­ern­ment said in a state­ment.

This came after the pro­posed af­fi­davit was re­ported on­line and by TV chan­nels.

Ro­hingyas are a mi­nor­ity in Myan­mar’s Rakhine, where an in­tense mil­i­tary crack­down — likened to an eth­nic cleans­ing by the United Na­tions — has driven hun­dreds of thou­sands to flee to Bangladesh and In­dia.

Close to 40,000 Ro­hingya Mus­lims live in In­dia after flee­ing Myan­mar over the past decade. Nearly 15,000 have re­ceived refugee doc­u­men­ta­tion, ac­cord­ing to the United Na­tions, but In­dia wants to de­port them all. Last week, UN’s hu­man rights chief crit­i­cised In­dia’s de­ci­sion as lack­ing ‘ba­sic hu­man com­pas­sion’.

Ac­cord­ing to the af­fi­davit that may or not be filed, the gov­ern­ment has flagged pur­ported links of some unau­tho­rised Ro­hingya im­mi­grants to mil­i­tant groups based in Pak­istan and Bangladesh. The gov­ern­ment has also said the refugees are vul­ner­a­ble to rad­i­cal­i­sa­tion by groups like the Is­lamic State.

The doc­u­ment men­tions refugees be­ing in­volved in “il­le­gal/ anti-na­tional ac­tiv­i­ties i.e. mo­bil­i­sa­tion of funds through hundi/ hawala chan­nels, procur­ing fake/fab­ri­cated In­dian iden­tity doc­u­ments for other Ro­hingyas/ Bangladeshis, and also in­dulging in hu­man traf­fick­ing”.

Se­nior lawyer Prashant Bhushan has filed a pe­ti­tion on be­half of two im­mi­grants chal­leng­ing the gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion to be­gin de­port­ing them to Myan­mar. The Supreme Court asked the gov­ern­ment for its re­sponse which will likely be filed ahead of the next hear­ing next week. Many of the Ro­hingya refugees who fled to In­dia have set­tled in Jammu, Hy­der­abad, Haryana, UP, Delhi-NCR and Ra­jasthan.

For­mer RSS ide­o­logue and Rashtriya Swab­hi­man An­dolan leader KN Govin­dacharaya has also moved the apex court seek­ing to make him a party in the case filed by the two Ro­hingya Mus­lims. Govin­dacharya has op­posed their plea, say­ing they were “a bur­den” on the coun­try’s re­sources and posed a se­ri­ous threat to na­tional se­cu­rity.

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