The Indian government has deported the first set of Rohingyas claiming to be “refugees” back to Myanmar—with the deportees’ consent, making a mockery of worldwide controlled media claims and liberals who claim that it is “unsafe” to send them home.
According to a report in the Telegraph of India, that country’s Supreme Court on Thursday “allowed the deportation of seven Rohingya Muslims to Myanmar” after Myanmar had accepted that they were its nationals and it was willing to take them back.
A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and K.M. Joseph passed the direction after taking on record an affidavit filed by the Indian government department tasked with controlled illegal immigration.
The seven, who were detained in Assam in 2012 for entering India illegally, were handed over to the Myanmar authorities on Thursday afternoon at the Moreh border in Manipur.
Mohammad Inus, Sabir Ahmed, Mohammad Jamal, Mohammad Salam, Mukbul Khan, Mohammad Rohimuddin and Jamal Hussain — all from Badarpara village in Myanmar’s Faida district — had been lodged in a foreigner detention camp inside Silchar jail in south Assam since their arrest.
As the deportation drew international attention, the external affairs ministry said “the individuals from Rakhine state” in Myanmar were sent back only “upon reconfirming their willingness to be repatriated”.
Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the government, told the court that the seven had earlier been convicted and sentenced by a court in Assam for illegally staying in the country.
After serving the sentence, they had requested the government to send them back to Myanmar. The external affairs ministry then discussed the issue with its counterparts in Myanmar and took the decision to deport them, Mehta said.
Pakistan’s The News newspaper reported that a UN special rapporteur “had warned India risked breaking international laws on refoulement—the return of refugees or asylum seekers to a country where they could be harmed.”
The Indian government had ordered last year that all Rohingya inside India—which the government says totals at 40,000—be deported.