Assam to deport seven Myanmar nationals
Assam will deport seven Myanmar nationals who have been in detention in Silchar in Cachar District of Barak Valley even as the UNHCR, the UN refugee agency which has been doing refugee status determination of the Rohingya in the country, said it has requested access to this group of people to ascertain their needs of international protection and is awaiting a response from the authorities.
The seven were apprehended in 2012 and have been in detention after they completed their sentence, according to officials. While most officials remained tight-lipped over their ethnicity, an official of Silchar Central Jail, where the seven are in detention said on condition of anonymity that they are Rohingya Muslims.
Meanwhile, an application has been moved in the Supreme Court which is hearing a public interest litigation against deportation of Rohingyas against the decision to deport these seven persons. The Centre has asked the states to identity Rohingya 'illegal immigrants' for deportation.
Officials of the Border Organisation of the Assam Police which deals with detection of foreigners said the seven persons will be sent back via Moreh in Manipur on October 4. “It is a routine process. We sent back a Pakistani, an Afghan and 52 Bangladeshis recently,” said Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta, additional director general, Border Organisation.
Documents available with HT show the seven were arrested on July 29, 2012, for violating the Foreigners Act. The document shows their address in District Faida. There is no such district in Myanmar. “The Myanmar government has verified their addresses. I cannot reveal which district or state they will be going to,” said Rakesh Roushan, Cachar SP.
UNHCR said it has credible information that the seven in detention include potential Rohingya. “UNHCR’s view is that the current conditions in Rakhine State in Myanmar are not conducive for safe, dignified and sustainable returns for Rohingya. This has also been affirmed by the Government of India,” the agency said in a statement responding to queries.