Rohingya refugees pose threat to national security, Centre tells Supreme Court


New Delhi: Citing serious ramifications on national security threat from Rohingya refugees, the Centre told the Supreme Court on Monday that it should not interfere and let it take a decision under a “fair and just procedure” on the issue of deportation of Rohingyas, many of whom have illegally crossed borders seeking refuge against widespread violence and discrimination in their home country, Myanmar.

Citing India’s large population and its complex social, cultural and economic infrastructure, the Centre said that it would take a decision keeping in mind the larger interest of the nation along with other factors such as its natural resources, requirements of the country’s population and the national security threat it may pose.

It submitted that as a sovereign nation, its first and foremost constitutional duty towards its citizens would be to ensure that the “demographic and social structure of the country is not changed to their detriment”, and that resources of the nation are used to fulfil their fundamental rights and not diverted.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra had agreed on 4 September to hear a plea against the arbitrary deportation of members from the Rohingya community who sought refuge in India after fleeing Myanmar because of atrocities against the community.

The petition was filed by two Rohingya Muslims—Mohammad Salimullah and Mohammad Shaqir—who are currently living in India.

In a 16-page affidavit, the Centre held that the current influx of illegal Rohingya immigrants into India was a “potential threat to internal and national security” and in such a situation the Central government would take a policy decision based on several parameters, diplomatic considerations and potential dangers to the nation.

Spelling out the problems illegal immigrants were posing, the Centre further said that some Rohingyas were indulging in illegal activities such as mobilization of funds through hawala channels, procuring fake identify documents—PAN (permanent account number) and voter card—and indulging in human trafficking.

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