New Delhi: For the first time, India will deport seven Rohingya immigrants, who have been staying in Assam illegally, to their home country Myanmar on Thursday, officials said. The immigrants were under detention in Cachar Central Jail in Assam’s Silchar district since 2012, when they were detained by police. They will be handed over to Myanmar authorities at Moreh border post in Manipur Thursday, a Home Ministry official said.
Consular access had been given to Myanmar diplomats, who confirmed the identity of the immigrants, the official said. Another official said the confirmation of the Myanmarese citizenship of the illegal immigrants came after the government of the neighbouring country verified their addresses in Rakhine State. This is for the first time Rohingya immigrants would be sent back to Myanmar from India.
In Guwahati, Assam Additional Director General of Police (Border) Bhaskarjyoti Mahanta said deportation of foreign nationals have been going on for sometime and earlier in the year “we have deported several Bangladeshi, Myanmarese and Pakistani nationals”. The seven immigrants were apprehended on July 29, 2012, for violating the Foreigners Act.
Those to be deported are Md Jamal, Mohbul Khan, Jamal Hussain, Md Yonus, Sabir Ahmed, Rahim Uddin and Md Salam and are in the age bracket of 26-32 years, a Cachar district official said. The Indian government had informed Parliament last year that over 14,000 Rohingya people, registered with the UN refugee agency UNHCR, stay in India.
However, aid agencies estimate there are about 40,000 Rohingya people in the country. Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims, described by the UN as the most persecuted minority in the world, fled their homes last year to escape an alleged crackdown by the Myanmarese military. Human rights group Amnesty International has blamed Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and the country’s government for “burying their heads in the sand over the horrors unfolding in Rakhine State”.