A DAY after the Centre’s flip-flop on affidavit on its plans to deport Rohingya Muslims, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said that the government will file the affidavit before the Supreme Court on September 18.
The apex court had asked the government to file the affidavit on a plea against deportation of illegal Rohingya immigrants to Myanmar. On Thursday, an unverified affidavit was submitted to the petitioner’s lawyer, and the government later claimed that the affidavit does not reflect the final position of the Centre on Rohingyas.
In their plea, Rohingya immigrants Mohammad Salimullah and Mohammad Shaqir, who are registered as refugees under the United Nations High Commission of Refugees (UNHCR), said they took refuge in India after escaping from Myanmar because of widespread discrimination, violence and bloodshed against the community there. They challenged their deportation on several grounds, including violation of international human rights conventions.
The issue came to the fore after the Union Home Ministry in July said illegal immigrants such as Rohingyas pose security challenges as they may be recruited by terror groups. The ministry had directed state governments to set up a task force at the district level to identify and deport illegally staying foreign nationals. The government told Parliament on August 9 that according to available data, more than 14,000 Rohingyas registered with UNHCR are in India. Some inputs indicate that around 40,000 Rohingyas are in India illegally, and they are largely located in Jammu, Hyderabad, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi-NCR and Rajasthan.