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India deports 7 Rohingya immigrants to Myanmar

Published On : 05 Oct 2018

Imphal, (IANS) India on Thursday deported to Myanmar seven Rohingya immigrants, who have been staying in Assam illegally since 2012, on their "willingness", constituting the first batch of such immigrants to be sent back to their homes.

The immigrants were handed over to Myanmar authorities in the afternoon at Moreh border post. They had entered Assam illegally and were detected and arrested in 2012. They served three months in detention in Cachar Central Jail and were subsequently lodged in a detention centre at Silchar.

Assistant Commandant Sudashu Kumar, posted with the paramilitary force in Assam, brought the immigrants to Moreh in Manipur and handed them over to Aung Myo, Deputy Director of Immigration in Myanmar, after completion of formalities.

"Upon reconfirming their willingness to be repatriated (on October 3, 2018), and with the full concurrence of the Government of Myanmar, in accordance with established procedures and laws, the Government of Assam has arranged for the repatriation of these seven individuals to Myanmar," Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.

Kumar said the seven individuals from Rakhine State in Myanmar had been detained in 2012 for violation of the Foreigners Act and that the Chief Judicial Magistrate of Cachar at Silchar, Assam, had awarded a three-month sentence for this offence and ordered their detention pending repatriation.

In accordance with established procedures and with the assistance of the Ministry of External Affairs, the Myanmar Embassy was able to establish the identity of these individuals as residents of that country, said Kumar. The Myanmar government then issued "certificates of identity" to facilitate the travel of these individuals to their hometown in Rakhine State.

In parallel, the MEA Spokesperson said, the individuals also requested in 2016 that the Myanmar Embassy should issue them relevant travel documents to facilitate their return to their own country.

The deportation process was started after Myanmar diplomats confirmed to Indian authorities that the immigrants were residents of the Rakhine State, where Myanmarese forces had effected a crackdown on the Rohingya community forcing lakhs of them to flee to Bangladesh.

The seven immigrants -- identified as Md Jamal, Mohbul Khan, Jamal Hussain, Md Yonus, Sabir Ahmed, Rahim Uddin and Md Salam -- were apprehended on July 29, 2012. They are aged between 25 and 35 years, a Home Ministry official said.

Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court dismissed a plea for a stay on the deportation of the seven illegal immigrants.

Following Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh's directive, northeastern states sharing international borders with different countries had tightened security to ensure that displaced Rohingya Muslims do not enter India.

Police sources said that several Rohingya immigrants were arrested at Moreh as well as Jiribam district bordering Assam, including Rohingya girls suspected to be victims of human trafficking.

The Rohingya people are a minority Muslim community from the Rakhine state in Myanmar.

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