Days after the Centre told the Supreme Court that the Rohingya Muslims are “illegal” immigrants in the country and pose a serious threat to the country’s national security, an affidavit submitted by two Rohingyas in reply to the Centre’s plan to deport them on Friday stated that they are “peace-loving” people and were forced to leave their country to escape violence and persecution.
In the same affidavit, the Rohingyas asked the Indian government to give them special refugee status to have long-term visas and get local jobs. Of late, the Centre had told the apex court its plans to deport around 40,000 Rohingyas currently living in India.
The Rohingyas denied that they have any links with terror outfits. The petitioners pleaded that the government could screen the community for links to terror groups and deny refugee status to suspects.
In their reply to the Centre, the Rohingyas said that they were not illegal immigrants but refugees fleeing their own country under fear of religious persecution and hence should be treated as such.
“We are not demanding any right to settle in India, but seeking protection guaranteed under the Constitution.” “There is an abundance of material to show that the Rohingyas are being forced to flee Myanmar due to atrocities systematically carried out against them on account of their religious and ethnic identity,” stated the affidavit.
“The Rohingya community has come to India are refugees and have fled Myanmar because of severe repression and genocide. Even their houses have been burnt and therefore they are not mere illegal migrants. They are thus entitled to protection under various international conventions which India has signed and ratified which mention the principle of non-refoulement,” the affidavit said.