Plight of Rohingyas: SC stresses balance between national security & human rights

13 October, 2017, 15:50 | Author: Lula Armstrong
  • Strike balance between national and humanitarian interest SC on Rohingya issue

The Rohingya approached the Supreme Court after India's junior home affairs minister, Kiren Rijiju, told Parliament in August that state governments had been asked to identify and deport people who entered the country illegally, including Rohingya.

The apex court said that a balance has to be struck between human rights & national interests.

The Supreme Court said the Rohingya Muslims' possible eviction was a very important matter involving issues of national security as well as the human rights of the people, many of whom are women, children and old people.

After the Centre's plea, the court did not pass such an order but said that in case any such deportation is done in the meantime, the petitioners would be at liberty to approach the court seeking a relief.

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The court said, "We have to strike a balance".

It said that it was an issue of greater magnitude which needs to be heard at length and fixed November 21 as the next date of hearing. It is not an ordinary case.

Two Rohingyas had filed a petition in the top court challenging their deportation.

The apex court had asked Centre and two Rohingya Muslim petitioners to compile all documents and global conventions for assisting the court.

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Another Rohingya refugee then filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court denying the Indian government's claims that the Muslim community from Myanmar has terror links with Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the Islamic State. India also told the United Nations Human Rights Council that the prevailing situation in Myanmar's Rakhine state should be handled with "restraint" and focus on the "welfare of the civilian population".

The two-page letter, released by Amnesty International India deals exclusively with the Rohingya crisis and the Indian government's response to it.

In an affidavit filed in the apex court registry, the NDA government said the fundamental right to reside and settle in any part of the country is available to citizens only and illegal refugees can not invoke the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to enforce the right.

Since August 25, around 4 lakh Rohingyas have fled the country and a lot of them are living in refugee camps in Bangladesh.

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