The Manipur Human Rights Commission on Monday stayed the deportation of a Rohingya woman to Myanmar, and said that such an action would be a violation of the constitutional right to life.
The woman, Hashina Begam, was slated to be deported to Myanmar from the town of Moreh in Manipur’s Tengnoupal district on Tuesday, according to Imphal NGO Human Rights Alert. The NGO filed a complaint with the commission against the deportation.
Begam had been picked up by government authorities from a holding centre at the Kathua sub-jail in Jammu district on March 15, according to Human Rights Alert. The NGO said that her husband and three minor children were still lodged at holding centres in Jammu.
“Considering the political turmoil that is going on inside Myanmar, the persecution that the Rohingya community suffers from the authority, as well as the fact that the lady is separated from her immediate family who are still in Jammu, it is highly unsafe for Hasina to be deported back to Myanmar at this point of time,” the plea stated.
Khaidem Mani, acting chairperson of the commission, said that the complaint prima facie showed a violation of the right to life and personal liberty under the Constitution, and of Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which deals with the right to asylum.
The commission told the Manipur government to “put on hold the alleged plan for deportation, if true, of the said Ms Hashina Begam to Myanmar”. It also directed the state government and police to file action taken reports by March 24.
Rohingya refugees in India
There are about 16,000 Rohingya refugees in different parts of India, the Hindustan Times has stated, citing the United Nations. However, it is estimated that the figure could be higher as many of them live in India with any documentation, according to the newspaper.
The Centre had announced in August 2017 that it was planning to deport all Rohingya refugees living in India. The then Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju had called them illegal immigrants, including the ones registered with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.
In 2017, the Myanmar Army had cracked down on the Rohingya, claiming that it was in retaliation to attacks by insurgent group Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army. The refugees have alleged that the crackdown included mass killings and rape.
On March 21, the United States said that genocide had been committed against the Rohingya in Myanmar.