Updated: September 23, 2017 3:20:14 am
The two Rohingyas who had moved the Supreme Court against the Central government’s plans to deport them have said that the community is peace-loving with no connection to any criminal activity. In a rejoinder affidavit filed in the apex court, Mohammad Salimullah and Mohammad Shaqir said: “There are a number of Rohingya Muslims (as they have been called) — like the petitioners — who are peace-loving, having no connection whatever with any criminal activity — much less ‘terrorist’ activity…”
The duo said they had been “compelled to seek shelter in India due to religious persecution” and as a matter of fact the petitioners had entered India in 2011 (Shaqir) and 2012 (Salimullah). The Centre had recently filed an affidavit in the court terming the roughly 40,000 Rohingyas who had crossed over to India as “illegal immigrants”, saying their continuance in the country posed a threat to national security.
The rejoinder said the allegation was not substantiated by any evidence. “The argument that the Rohingyas pose a threat to national security is not substantiated with any evidence. To the contrary, it may be noted that the Reply of the Minister in Charge (Home) in the Jammu and Kashmir legislative assembly budget session 2017, on whether Rohingyas have been involved in militancy and other crimes, stated no Rohingya (Burmese) has been found involved in militancy related incidents. Seventeen FIRs have been registered against 38 Rohingya for various offences relating to illegal border crossing,” the rejoinder claimed.
The government affidavit which was drawn up by the Ministry of Home Affairs had referred to terror links of some members of the community. But the rejoinder said, “The government cannot make a blanket claim that all Rohingya refugees have terror links and there being a fear of them being radicalised by terror recruits operating in India.”
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