New Delhi, Apr 8 (efe-epa).- India’s Supreme Court on Thursday said the Rohingya refugees detained in Jammu and Kashmir region will not be deported to Myanmar unless a legal process is followed.
Last month, the authorities in the northern region of Jammu and Kashmir detained more than 150 Rohingyas and sent them to a holding center as part of a verification process.
“It is made clear that the Rohingyas in Jammu, on whose behalf the application has been moved, shall not be deported unless the procedure prescribed for such deportation is followed,” the court order said.
The court ruling comes in response to a request filed by prominent Indian lawyer and civil rights activist Prashant Bhushan to release those arrested and not to deport them.
The court, however, has dismissed the Rohingyas’ release, saying a group of undocumented immigrants has made “two serious allegations” relating to the threat to internal security and the infiltration of illegal migrants into the country.
Members of the Rohingya ethnic Muslim minority have been seeking refuge in neighboring India to escape persecution and violence in Myanmar, which the United Nations has described as “ethnic cleansing and genocide.”
In recent weeks, hundreds of Myanmar citizens have also fled to India after the February coup, which has left more than 100 people killed amid a wave of protests.
In India, which shares a 1,634 kilometer-long border with Myanmar, there are nearly 40,000 Rohingyas, about 17,000 of whom are registered by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
India is not part of the 1951 UN Refugee Convention and is not authorized to grant refugee status to any foreigners.EFE-EPA