Centre defends decision to deport Rohingya

Tells NHRC that radicalised elements among the ‘illegal’ immigrants may attack Buddhists in India.

September 27, 2017 10:19 pm | Updated September 28, 2017 12:11 am IST - New Delhi

 Muslims raise slogans during a demonstration condemning alleged ongoing violence against the Rohingyas in Myanmar, near its embassy in New Delhi recently.

Muslims raise slogans during a demonstration condemning alleged ongoing violence against the Rohingyas in Myanmar, near its embassy in New Delhi recently.

The Home Ministry has replied to a notice issued by the National Human Rights Commission over the planned deportation of Rohingya Muslims.

The Ministry is learnt to have defended its decision, deeming Rohingya “illegal immigrants” from Myanmar. The deportations would be done as per the laid-down procedure. A Ministry spokesperson confirmed that a report had been sent to the NHRC.

Another Ministry official said a factual report was sent to the NHRC and the various provisions of Foreigners Act and Passport Act, which bar foreigners from illegally staying in the country, have been mentioned in the reply.

“The decision to deport the Rohingya rests with the executive. This was told to the Supreme Court as well. The same reply has been given to the National Human Rights Commission ” an official said.

Taking cognisance of media reports, including The Hindu ’s, the NHRC had asked the Home Ministry about the government’s plan to deport the Rohingya by setting up “detention centres”. It observed that the “refugees are no doubt foreign nationals but they are human beings”.

The Home Ministry is learnt to have told the NHRC that a procedure for detection and deportation of illegal immigrants existed under the Foreigners Act, 1946 and that consolidated instructions were issued afresh on April 19, 2014.

In its affidavit filed in the Supreme Court on September 18, the Home Ministry said, “A fragile north-eastern corridor may become further destabilised in case of stridency of Rohingya militants, which the Central government has found to be growing, if permitted to continue. There is also a serious potential and possibility of eruption of violence against the Buddhists who are Indian citizens who stay on Indian soil, by the radicalised Rohingya.”

‘Tedious’ process

On August 19, the Home Ministry issued a circular, asking all States to identify illegal immigrants and deport them as per the procedure.

An official said that identifying an undocumented citizen was a “tedious” process and the final decision lay with a tribunal, set up in such cases to determine their nationality.

“The local police first enquires if the person is not an Indian citizen. He or she will be subject to trial and, if the tribunal decides against the subject, the deportation process will begin. A communication will be sent to the Myanmar government to verify their address,” the official said.

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.