Tribune News Service
New Delhi, March 11
Days after authorities in Jammu detained Rohingya immigrants as part of the process to deport them, a plea has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking directions for their immediate release and to restrain the Centre from deporting them.
Filed by Mohammad Salimullah, a Rohingya refugee, the plea is in the form of an intervention application in a matter already pending before the court.
The total estimated number of Rohingyas in Jammu is estimated to be more than 6,500.
There are several petitions in SC demanding deportation of over 40,000 Rohingyas, who fled to India after violence in the Western Rakhine State of Myanmar and are settled in Jammu, Hyderabad, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi-NCR and Rajasthan.
Registered as refugees under the United Nations High Commission of Refugees (UNHCR), Salimullah had moved the top court in 2017 challenging the Centre’s move to deport Rohingya immigrants on the ground that the decision violated international human right conventions and right to life guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution.
Citing the MHA’s August 8, 2017 letter to all the chief secretaries of all the state governments/UT administrations, raising a concern regarding the increased ‘illegal immigrants’ in India and their purported ‘grave security challenge’, the plea stated that the petitioner faced an imminent danger of being deported.
Salimullah wanted the top court to direct the MHA to expeditiously grant refugee identification cards through the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) for the Rohingyas in the informal camps.
He also sought a direction to the UNHCR to intervene and determine the protection needs of the Rohingya refugees not just in Jammu but also in camps across India and complete the process of granting them refugee cards.
They accused the Centre of failing to carry out its obligations to ensure protection to the Rohingya community, by proposing to deport them to Myanmar, where they faced serious violence and persecution.
“Release the detained Rohingya refugees immediately and direct the Union Territory government and the Ministry of Home Affairs to expeditiously grant refugee identification cards through the FRRO for the Rohingyas in the informal camps,” it said.
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