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Rohingya crisis: Security, population balance to decide course of action, says Jaitley

20 September 2017, 01:03 | Lucy Hill

Rohingya crisis: Security, population balance to decide course of action, says Jaitley

No Rohingya refugees in Sri Lanka, Ministry affirms

"The court has no business to interfere in such matters of what they call illegal immigrants or illegal migrants", the government said in an affidavit.

The Centre has told the Supreme Court that many Rohingyas have acquired documents meant for Indian citizens only like Aadhaar, PAN and Voter-ID.

The ministry said the illegal influx of large numbers of Rohingya into India began four to five years ago, long before an exodus that saw more than 400,000 Rohingya flee to Bangladesh since August 25 to escape a Myanmar military counterinsurgency offensive that the United Nations has called "ethnic cleansing".

India already has serious security concerns over illegal migrants staying in a number of its cities, he said.

He said India had in the past allowed Buddhists from Tibet, Tamils from Sri Lanka and Hindus from Pakistan to come into the country. The rest were dubbed as "illegal Bengalis" - immigrants from Bangladesh.

The Centre told the top court that the Rohingya matter was not justiceable and when there existed a fair procedure prescribed by law for deportation, it should be left to "the Central government to exercise its essential executive function by way of a policy decision in the larger interest of the country".

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"As evident from the constitutional guarantee flowing from Article 19 of the Constitution, the right to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India as well as right to move freely throughout the territory of India is available only to the citizens of India". She said the government wanted to find out why the exodus was happening.

"It is a sensitive matter. The matter is before the Supreme Court", he said.

Verma's statement follows Congress' assertion on the issues, and AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi's claim that the affidavit filed by the Centre may not stand the legal scrutiny as refugees are also entitled to fundamental rights.

The Centre said India has not signed any global treaty on refugees and was under no obligation to keep the Rohingyas, lakhs of whom have fled Myanmar over the past few weeks to escape a crackdown by government forces in the neighbouring country.

"This threat, at least in J&K, is a post-2014 development".



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