Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, Jitendra Singh, said on Friday that the Centre’s next step will be to deport Rohingya Muslim refugees from India, The Indian Express reported. Singh, at a function in Jammu, said that the government is considering ways to deport the Rohingya.

Singh said many Rohingya Muslims, who have fled from Myanmar, have moved into Jammu. He said that a list of such individuals will be prepared and their biometric data also collected.

The minister said the Rohingya are not eligible for Indian citizenship under the Citizenship Amendment Act. “They [Rohingya] are not part of the six religious minorities [Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian] in three neighbouring states [Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan],” Singh said. “They are from Myanmar and hence have to go as they are not eligible for Indian citizenship under the CAA.”

According to the Union Home Ministry, 14,000 Rohingya Muslims living in India are registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. As many as 40,000 Rohingya Muslims are living in India, according to the ministry.

The Citizenship Amendment Act has triggered protests across the country after it was passed in Parliament on December 11. The legislation provides Indian citizenship to religious minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, who have entered the country on or before December 31, 2014. The law has attracted widespread criticism as it excludes the Muslim community from its purview. As many as 26 people have been killed in the protests.

Myanmar’s security forces are accused of killings, gangrape and arson during a crackdown that drove more than 730,000 people to flee western Rakhine state for neighbouring Bangladesh after some Rohingya insurgents attacked police posts in August 2017. Some of these refugees have also fled to India.

The Supreme Court of India is likely to hear on January 10 a batch of petitions filed by Rohingya immigrants about their living conditions, and the Centre’s statement over two years ago to deport 40,000 of them back to Myanmar, The Hindu reported on December 23.

In July last year, the Supreme Court had agreed to examine in August if undocumented Rohingya immigrants were eligible for refugee status in India. However, it is not clear what happened of the hearing.