Can’t let Rohingya travel to a third country, Union govt tells Delhi HC

Updated on Sep 22, 2022 07:30 AM IST

The affidavit was filed on September 20, in response to a petition from Senoara Begum, a woman from Myanmar and her three children who are living in India, challenging the decision of the Union home ministry and FRRO refusing their exit permit applications to leave India and travel to the United States

A view inside the Rohingya refugee camp at Kalindi Kunj, in New Delhi.(Amal KS/HT file photo)
A view inside the Rohingya refugee camp at Kalindi Kunj, in New Delhi.(Amal KS/HT file photo)
By, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

The Union government has told the Delhi high court that it has inputs by security agencies indicating that some Rohingya migrants illegally staying in India have links with Pakistan-based terror organisations and other similar bodies operating in other countries.

In an affidavit filed before the court, the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) said that there is an organized influx of illegal migrants from Myanmar through agents and touts facilitating Rohingyas into India via Benapole-Haridaspur (Bangladesh-West Bengal), Hilli (West Bengal) and Sonamora (Tripura), Kolkata and Guwahati.

The affidavit was filed on September 20, in response to a petition from Senoara Begum, a woman from Myanmar and her three children who are living in India, challenging the decision of the Union home ministry and FRRO refusing their exit permit applications to leave India and travel to the United States.

In her plea, the woman has said that she and her husband, Nurul Amin, are victims of persecution in their home country, Myanmar. After resettling in a Bangladesh refugee camp, they got married to each other in the year 2004.

As Amin moved to the United States in 2015, got the country’s citizenship and secured permanent residence visas for the petitioners, he is now making efforts to get his family there as well.

But when the petitioner and her children came to India from Kutupalong Refugee camp in Bangladesh, and applied for exit permit, the authorities asked them to submit a ‘No Objection Certificate’ (NOC) from the embassy of Myanmar and an affidavit regarding their recent travel. The family, however, said that they are ‘stateless’ people and can’t get the NOC.

However, the Centre said that it was the policy of the Indian government that such illegal foreigners must be deported back to their country of origin subject to their nationality verification, in consultation with the ministry of external affairs.

The Union government also said that it cannot grant exit to illegal migrants to a third country as it would be totally against the existing guidelines, and added that there is no binding obligation on them under any international convention or treaty.

It added that granting exit permits to illegal migrants like the petitioner would also have a bearing upon similarly placed cases from other refugees as well and it would convey a message that the Indian government is supporting/ facilitating resettlement of illegal migrants in third countries which would be detrimental to the international relations of the Indian government.

“The nexus of touts and agents as mentioned above shall use the situation to their advantage to further increase influx of more Rohingyas in India which would again open a pandora’s box for the Indian government, which is already dealing with the menace of illegal migration through its porous borders,” it added.

Saying that the situation is seriously harming the national security of the nation, FRRO, has asserted that India is already “saddled with a very serious problem of illegal migrants and is attempting to address this situation in the larger interest of the nation, keeping the national resources of the country, requirements of own population, national security concerns and several other facts in consideration”.

It said that due to the high influx of the illegal immigrants from the neighbouring countries, the demographic profile of some of the bordering states has already undergone a serious change which is already causing the far-reaching complications in various contexts and is taking its toll and has a direct detrimental effect on the fundamental and basic human rights of country’s own citizens.

“It is respectfully submitted that India is a country with large population, surplus labour force, and has its complex social, cultural and economical infrastructure. Providing facilities/privileges to illegal immigrants out of the existing national resources, apart from above referred direct threat to national security, would also have a direct adverse impact upon Indian citizens as it would deprive the Indian citizens of their legitimate share in the employment sector, subsidised housing, medical and educational facilities and would thereby culminate in hostility towards immigrants resulting into an inevitable social tension and law and order problems. The fundamental rights of Indian citizens would therefore, be seriously violated,” the FRRO said.

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    Reports from the Delhi High Court and stories on legal developments in the city. Avid mountain lover, cooking and playing with birds 🐦 when not at work

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