Taking serious exception to the statements that the Rohingyas has been radicalized, 7000 strong members of the community of 23 settlements in Jammu moved the Supreme Court denying all the allegations, challenging the move to deport them and saying that they were being targeted only because they are Muslims.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra assured the community that the plea will be heard on coming Mondayalong with other related petitions filed by noted lawyer Prashant Bhushan and two intervenors. Filing a public interest petition through well known senior lawyer and human rights activist Colin Gonsalves, they have also contended that the deportation move was a violation of right to equality enshrined under the constitution pointing out that refugees like the Tibetans and others are not being asked to go back to their native country.
The Petitioner states that the impugned order of the UOI dated 8.8.17 is violative of Article 14 of the Constitution as the Rohingya refugees are being discriminated against when compared to the government’s treatment of Tibetans and other refugees. They have been singled out for very harsh treatment including deportation which will surely result in their execution. This is being done because they are poor and are Muslims. The Government of India has adopted a straight-forward and blatantly racist stance with regard to them”, said the petition.
“All the 7,000 Rohingyas have nothing to do with terrorism. Ever since they began residing in Jammu there has been no allegation whatsoever against them. Not a single one of them has ever engaged in any terrorist activity. The local police have for over a year conducted interrogation of all the Rohingyas and have taken full details of each family. The local police have inspected the settlements several times every month. All the Rohingyas cooperate with the police and give them all required information. There is therefore not a single terrorist in our midst”, it said.
“It is unfair and discriminatory to brand the community as terrorists. It is stigmatic and it is violative of the Rohingya’s right to life under the Indian Constitution. We have had no altercation or any strained relationship with any Indian citizen and therefore it is completely wrong to say, as stated in the first paragraph of the impugned notification that we infringe the rights of Indian citizens and pose a grave security challenge. It is also completely untrue to say that we refugees have either sympathy for or are getting recruited into terrorist organisations”, the petition said.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra has posted the plea for hearing along with the one filed by noted lawyer Prashant Bhushan on behalf of two Rohingyas challenging the move to deport them back to Myanmar.
The fresh petition assumes significance in the wake of two intervention petitions in the case by former RSS ideologue K N Govindacharya and Chennai-based Indic Collective Trust seeking deportation of the Rohingya refugees.
While Govindacharya said their continued presence “may lead to another partition of the country” and also said “it has also become known that al Qaeda is trying to use the Rohingya community for terror and jihad, the Trust has said their presence posed “social, economic and security” threat to India
“It is unfair and discriminatory to brand our community as terrorists. It is also completely untrue to say that we refugees have either sympathy for or are getting recruited into terrorist organizations”, the Jammu Rohingya’s plea said.
The reaction by the Rohingyas is important as India has already warned Myanmar that Pakistan-based militants like Lashkar-e-Taiba are radicalising members of the Rohingya community, which posed a security risk to both the countries as well as the region.
In August, minister of state for Home Kiren Rijiju had said that according to available data, more than 14,000 Rohingyas, registered with the UNHCR, were staying in India.
He had said that around 40,000 Rohingyas were staying in India illegally.
In a communication to all states, the union home ministry had said the rise of terrorism in last few decades has become a serious concern for most nations as illegal migrants are prone to getting recruited by terrorist organisations.
Click Here to Read the Petition Here