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India’s apex court to decide on fate of Rohingya refugees

FILE - In this June 13, 2012 file photo, a Rohingya Muslim man who fled Myanmar to Bangladesh to escape religious violence, cries as he pleads from a boat after he and others were intercepted by Bangladeshi border authorities in Taknaf, Bangladesh. She is known as the voice of Myanmar's downtrodden but there is one oppressed group that Aung San Suu Kyi does not want to discuss. For weeks, Suu Kyi has dodged questions on the plight of a Muslim minority known as the Rohingya, prompting rare criticism of the woman whose struggle for democracy and human rights in Myanmar have earned her a Nobel Peace Prize, and adoration worldwide. (AP Photo/Anurup Titu, File)

New Delhi, Sep 18: A final decision on the fate of Rohingya refugees in India will be taken by the Supreme Court, Indian  Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Monday.

He said the matter is being heard by the apex court and “whatever decision will be taken, it will be taken by the Supreme Court”.

Rajnath Singh was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the launch of a new Intel set-up of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) here.

The apex court has fixed hearing on the matter for October 3 after a petition challenged the government’s decision to deport Rohingyas who have fled Myanmar after a military offensive in Rakhine state.

The federal government on Monday told the Supreme Court that the influx of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar started in 2012 as the apex court directed an October 3 hearing on a petition challenging their deportation.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud directed the hearing for October as the Centre told the bench that they would be filing their response during the day.

Adjourning the hearing, the court asked the petitioner and others to file their rejoinder to the Centre’s stand before the next date of hearing.

The Centre told the top court not to interfere in the matter as it was an “essential executive” function of policy decision in the larger national interest.

“The continued stay of Rohingyas in India apart from being absolutely illegal is found to be having national security ramification and has serious security threats,” the Centre said in its affidavit.

Telling the court that the presence of Rohingyas in India would be a drain on the resources of the country and would affect the rights of the people, the Centre on Monday pointed to the court about some of the Rohingyas having contacts with Pakistan-based terror outfits.

It further said that due to the large influx of illegal immigrants from neighbouring countries, the demographic profile of the some of the bordering states had undergone a serious change.


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