The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to interfere in the Centre’s decision to deport seven Rohingya men jailed in Assam to Myanmar, PTI reported. The Centre said that Myanmar had accepted the refugees as its citizens and agreed to take them back.
“They were found to be illegal immigrants and their country of origin, Myanmar, has recognised them as Myanmar citizens,” Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said.
Hours later, the Assam Police said that the seven men, who are from Myanmar’s Rakhine state, have been deported. The men were in Silchar central prison since 2012 for illegally crossing the border.
On Wednesday, the top court refused to grant an urgent hearing of a plea to stop the deportation. “They will be killed if that [deportation] happens,” Live Law quoted advocate Prashant Bhushan as saying.
On Tuesday, a United Nations human rights expert expressed alarm at the government’s decision to deport the seven men. Tendayi Achiume, the UN special rapporteur on racism, said the forcible return could constitute violation of international law.
In August 2017, India announced that it was planning to deport all 40,000 Rohingya refugees in the country. The Supreme Court is still hearing a petition against that order. The court has said no Rohingya refugee should be deported until it decides on the matter.