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We’re not Terrorists, say illegal Rohingya Muslims to Supreme Court

Nearly 7,000 Rohingya living in 23 settlements across Jammu have moved the Supreme Court, saying there is not a single terrorist among them and they deserve to be treated with dignity by the government.

Applications have been filed in the Supreme Court alleging that Rohingya were a national security threat, and they should be deported.

A Bench led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra has asked the Centre to clarify its position. The case came to the court following a government move to deport Rohingya. The court is scheduled to hear the issue on September 18.

“All 7,000 Rohingya have nothing to do with terrorism,” the community, represented by counsel Colin Gonsalves, said.

The petition, filed through Mohammad Yunus, a Rohingya, described the life of the average Rohingya in Jammu.


Police verification ::

It said there had not been a single allegation of terrorism against any Rohingya ever since the community began living in Jammu. “Not a single one of them has ever engaged in any terrorist activity,” the petition said.

“The local police have for over a year conducted interrogation of all the Rohingya and have taken full details of each family. The local police have inspected the settlements several times every month. All the Rohingya cooperate with the police and give them all the required information,” it said.

Saying that branding Rohingya as terrorists was both unfair and discriminatory, it asked the court to direct the government to treat the community with some dignity, not to displace the community, which had undergone years of persecution in their own native land of Myanmar.

“The approximately 7,000 Rohingya reside peacefully on privately owned lands rented out by Indian nationals, most of whom are Hindus. The Rohingya are paying rent to these landlords on a timely basis. None of the landlords have ever voiced any complaints or objections about the conduct of their Rohingya tenants,” the petition said.


Refugee status ::

It said all the 7,000 Rohingya were “interrogated” extensively by the UNHCR, their statements verified before declaring them as refugees.

“All of them fled their country of origin i.e. Myanmar due to fear of persecution and are not illegal immigrants in India. Most of these families have been residing peacefully in Jammu since 2008. The Rohingya have a well-founded fear of persecution in the country of their origin on account of their minority ethnic community status,” the plea said.


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