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13 October, 2017 06:25:56 PM
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Rohingya refugees cannot be ignored: India SC

The top court set the next date of hearing for November 21, and asked petitioners to approach it in case the government begins any deportation exercise
Independent Online/Hindustan Times
Rohingya refugees cannot be ignored: India SC
Rohingya Muslims, who crossed over from Myanmar into Bangladesh, carry an elderly woman in a basket and walk towards a refugee camp in Shah Porir Dwip, Bangladesh, in September.(AP)

The Supreme Court of India on Friday said that the human rights of Rohingya refugees cannot be ignored and there is a need to “strike a balance” when it comes to issues of national security resulting from their stay.

The court said the government should not deport the refugees, but did not pass a formal order putting any restrictions. It asked the petitioners to approach it in case the government begins any exercise.

Rohingya Muslims have fled from Myanmar in millions after an intense military crackdown that has been likened to an ethnic cleansing by the United Nations. The Indian government is seeking to deport them, saying some of them may be linked to militant groups based outside of the country.

“We have to strike a balance. It is not an ordinary case. The issue involves human rights of many,” the top court said on Friday, according to ANI, and set the next date of hearing for November 21.

If you (Centre) take any kind of contingency plan, you need to inform this court, the judges said, according to the news agency.

There are an estimated 40,000 Rohingya refugees in the country, a large number of them living in squalid camps in Jammu, Hyderabad, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi-NCR and Rajasthan.

Nearly 15,000 have received refugee documentation, according to the United Nations, but India wants to deport them all.

In response to a petition moved by two refugees challenging the deportation, the government told the top court that many Rohingya refugees have links with the Islamic State and Pakistan’s spy agency ISI.

The government also said if allowed to stay, the Rohingya refugees would exhaust natural resources meant for Indians that could culminate in hostility towards them and lead to social tension and law and order problems.

The UN’s human rights chief has criticised India’s decision as lacking ‘basic human compassion’.

Rohingya Muslims are a minority in Myanmar’s Rakhine where government forces have allegedly carried out summary executions, serial rapes and burned down entire villages. The persecution has forced tens of thousands to flee to neighbouring Bangladesh, from where many come to India.

KK

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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