New Delhi: Pointing the Rohingya refugees as “illegal” immigrants, the government on Monday told the Supreme Court that some of them were part of a “sinister” design of Pakistan’s ISI and terror groups such as the ISIS.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) made its stand clear in a much-awaited affidavit in the apex court, in which it also said the fundamental right to settle in any part of the country was available only to citizens and not the Rohingyas.
It categorically stated that the apex court should not invoke its jurisdiction, as the issue of Rohingyas “fell under the exclusive domain of policy decision of the executive”.
The affidavit was submitted as a response to a plea, filed by Rohingya immigrants Mohammad Salimullah and Mohammad Shaqir, claiming they had taken refuge in India after escaping from Myanmar due to widespread discrimination, violence and bloodshed against the community there.
In the matter which will be heard next on October 3, the MHA said the “continuance of Rohingyas’ illegal immigration into India and their continued stay in India, apart from being absolutely illegal, is found to be having serious national security ramifications and has serious security threats.”
The affidavit said some Rohingyas were involved in “illegal and anti national activities” like mobilization of funds through hawala channels, procuring fake Indian ID cards besides indulging in human trafficking.
“A fragile Northeastern corridor may become further destabilized in case of stridency of Rohingya militancy, which the Central Government has found to be growing, if permitted to continue,” it said.
The Centre then dealt with the fundamental right of citizens to reside, settle and move freely inside the country and said the apex court should not entertain the plea for extending these rights to the illegal Rohingyas.
It dealt with the provisions of 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees and said these were not applicable as India was not a signatory to either of them.
The MHA also said the inputs of security agencies and other sensitive details may be filed later by it in a sealed cover to substantiate its assertions made in the affidavit.