Deporting Rohingya not easy

Official says Myanmar had in the past refused to take them back as its citizens.

September 06, 2017 09:32 pm | Updated December 04, 2021 10:43 pm IST - New Delhi

A boy from the Rohingya community stands outside a shack at a camp in Delhi on August 17, 2017.

A boy from the Rohingya community stands outside a shack at a camp in Delhi on August 17, 2017.

The Home Ministry held a high-level meeting on Wednesday to firm up its reply in the Supreme Court regarding the deportation of Rohingya Muslim immigrants.

Officials said they were concerned with the deportation plan as Myanmar had in the past refused to accept the Rohingya as its citizens.

In the Supreme Court earlier this week, Prashant Bhushan, counsel for two Rohingya, Mohammad Salimullah and Mohammad Shaqir, made a plea to “protect their life and liberty”.

The court posted the matter for hearing on September 11.


“The Supreme Court has asked us to file a reply. Our stand is clear that Rohingya are illegal immigrants and they will be deported as per law. The only concern we have is the stand that would be taken by Myanmar. We will approach them asking them to take back the Rohingyas but in the past also they have refused to accept and recognise them as their citizens,” a senior Home Ministry official said.

Advisory to States

The Ministry had directed the States to conduct surveys and prepare to deport them in a “continuous manner”. Its advisory (No. 24013/29/Misc./2017-CSR.III(i)) of August 8 said the State governments were also told that the “powers to identify and deport the foreign nationals staying illegally in the country” had been delegated to them, and that they should “sensitise all law enforcement and intelligence agencies” to the risk from Rohingya.

The Hindu Explains: Who are Rohingya? Why are they stateless?

“Infiltration from Rakhine State of Myanmar into Indian territory … besides being [a] burden on the limited resources of the country also aggravates the security challenges,” the advisory said.

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