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In SC, Karnataka revises stand on Rohingyas

In the fresh affidavit, the state government said, “The Karnataka State Police has not housed Rohingyas in any camp or detention centre within its jurisdiction. However, 126 Rohingyas have been identified in Karnataka state.”

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai (Photo: Twitter/@BSBommai)

AFTER SAYING it had “no immediate plans” to deport Rohingyas living in the state, BJP-ruled Karnataka has filed a fresh affidavit in the Supreme Court mentioning nothing of its earlier stand and agreeing to abide by whatever the court decides.

In the fresh affidavit, the state government said, “The Karnataka State Police has not housed Rohingyas in any camp or detention centre within its jurisdiction. However, 126 Rohingyas have been identified in Karnataka state.”

The state also undertook to adhere to and follow in letter and spirit whatever order the court passes. The affidavit was submitted in reply to a plea filed by Advocate Ashwini Upadhyay seeking identification, detention and deportation of all illegal immigrants within a year.

In its previous affidavit, the government had said, “Bengaluru City Police have not housed Rohingyas in any camp or detention centre within its jurisdiction. However, 72 Rohingyas identified in Bengaluru City are working in various fields and Bengaluru City Police have not taken any coercive action against them as of now and there is no immediate plan of deporting them.”

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This raised questions as in August 2017, then Union Minister Kiren Rijiu had told Parliament that states were directed to detect and deport illegal immigrants, including Rohingyas. Following this, two Rohingyas approached the Supreme Court against the deportation plans.

Responding to the plea, the Centre told the SC in an affidavit in September 2017 that the “illegal” influx of Rohingyas “using the porous border between India and Myanmar…and their continued stay in India, apart from being absolutely illegal, is found to be having serious national security ramifications and has serious security threats”.

The Centre said that the “illegal influx” of Rohingyas started from 2012-13 — the UPA II was then in power at the Centre — and added that the government “has contemporaneous inputs from security agencies and other authentic material indicating linkages of some of the unauthorised Rohingya immigrants with Pakistan-based terror organisations and similar organisations in other countries”.

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Besides, there was also “organised influx of illegal immigrants from Myanmar through agents and touts facilitating illegal immigrants/Rohingyas into India via Benapole-Haridaspur (West Bengal), Hili (West Bengal), Sonamura (Tripura), Kolkata and Guwahati”, the affidavit stated.

First published on: 31-10-2021 at 05:04:58 am
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