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India Deports Minor Rohingya Girl, Separated From Family, to Violence-Hit Myanmar: Report

The 14-year-old, who had entered Assam, had pleaded for being sent to Bangladesh, where her parents are in a refugee camp.

Image Courtesy: Reuters

New Delhi: As violence, unrest and killings are being reported in neighbouring Myanmar as people protest against the military coup, the Indian government has taken a decision to deport a minor Rohingya girl back to the country, despite human rights groups opposing the move, says a reportThis would be the first case of a Rohingya being deported after the coup in February this year.

“The minor girl was handed over to the Assam Police by the NGO in the presence of the CWC. She was today taken to Moreh and will be handed over to the Myanmar authorities tomorrow,” The Assam Tribune reported on Wednesday, citing sources.

In a heart-tugging tale of the uprooted lives of refugees from conflict zones, especially children separated from parents, the 14 –year-old girl, who had entered India illegally, had wanted to be sent to Bangladesh where her parents have taken refuge, according to the report.

The Assam authorities had apparently even requested that she been sent to Bangladesh instead of Myanmar, where killings and persecution of Rohingya Muslims has been going on for some time.

However, the Indian government reportedly cited ‘laid down’ rules and cleared her deportation, says the report.

 “As per the laid down guidelines and the repatriation protocol, repatriation of a person to anywhere except his or her country of origin is not allowed. We are only following the orders passed on by the Centre,” a source in Silchar police told The Assam Tribune.

Senior Supreme Court lawyer, Prashant Bhushan, expressing outrage at the Indian government’s decision as well as the SC tweeted:  “This is a gross violation of International law & several international treaties that India has signed which prohibit such deportations. It exposes this govt as being totally heartless & lawless. It is also a big black mark on the SC which has not restrained these deportations.”

“The 14-year-old... minor girl who was detained a couple of years back for illegally entering India was in the custody of Nivedita Nari Sangstha, a Silchar based NGO,” the report said, quoting sources.

Since 2018, as many as 39 Rohingya nationals have been deported from Assam and nearly 50 Rohingya nationals are currently lodged in different detention camps, such as Tezpur, Silchar and Goalpara.

Read Also: Reports Chronicle Continuing Violence and Discrimination Against Rohingya Community

In fact, international rights groups, such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, have claimed conclusive evidence about indiscriminate attacks against civilians inside Myanmar’s Rakhine State, and have said that they collected testimonies, visual evidence, and analysis of satellite imagery to prove that violence against the persecuted Rohingya community continues.

The Rohingyas are a Bengali dialect speaking Muslims who are facing large-scale persecution in Myanmar, following which many of them have become homeless and have been forced to enter neighbouring countries, such as India and Bangladesh. In India, Rohingyas are in camps in Assam, Delhi, Jammu etc.

Read Also: Tackle Rohingya Refugees Issue Through Humanitarian Angle: CPI(M)

What lies ahead following India’s decision to deport this child of conflict, who is separated from her parents, can be guaged from the Chief Justice of India’s recent comment. While reserving his order on a petition against deportation of Rohingyas on March 26, CJI  S A Bobde had said: “Possibly that is the fear that if they go back to Myanmar they will be slaughtered. But we cannot control all that."

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