1st batch of 'termites' (7 rohingya) to be deported to myanmar today
Thursday, October 04, 2018
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In the midst of the government’s attempt to enumerate Rohingya and restrict their movement, seven individuals are to be deported in the first batch on Thursday even as activists seek a judicial intervention to stall their return.
Sources in the home ministry referred to seven “Myanmarese nationals” who are to be sent to their home country, from where thousands of Rohingya have fled in the wake of violence targeting the community.
While declining to confirm if the seven were Rohingya Muslims, home ministry officials said the deportation was being done after Myanmar verified their addresses and issued them travel permits.
They will be sent back through Moreh in Manipur. This is the first case of deportation of Rohingya and it saw the UN High Commissioner for Refugees intervening to say that international law prohibits them from being forcibly sent back to Myanmar in view of hostile conditions back home.
It comes at a time of escalating debate on what India should do with foreigners who are allegedly illegally staying in the country.
Row over Rohingya may intensify as election draws near ::
The last couple of months have seen the issue muscling its way into the political discourse in the wake of the release of the draft of Assam’s National Register of Citizens, which is being prepared to weed out alleged Bangladeshi infiltrators.
With the opposition accusing BJP of raking up the issue of infiltration as part of its anti-Muslim agenda and Amit Shah saying that illegal immigrants were like termites who are eating into the country’s scarce resources, the issue of how to deal with alleged foreigners may turn into a hot button theme for the coming polls.
Rohingya are said to have illegally entered India, purportedly to escape religious persecution in Myanmar. The government had asked states in August last year to identify them and register their biometrics in order to keep tabs on them.
In Silchar, a police official said the individuals being deported are not recent entrants to India. “Mohammad Jamal, Maqbul Khan, Jamal Hussain, Mohammad Yunus, Sabbir Ahmed, Rahim Uddin and Mohammad Salam entered India illegally through the Bangladesh border about 10 years ago,” he said.