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Should India allow Rohingyas to settle in the country?

Should India allow Rohingyas to settle in the country?

India's Supreme Court was hearing a petition filed on behalf of two Rohingya refugees challenging a government decision to deport the ethnic group from India.

According to reports, the Centre also told the apex court that whether or not Rohingya refugees should be allowed to settle in the country be left to the Executive. It also said the government had intelligence indicating links between Rohingya refugees and Islamic State and other extremist groups.

In a written submission to the country's Supreme Court, the Indian government claimed that the Rohingya Muslims, who fled violence in Myanmar and settled in India, are "indulging in anti-national activities and channelizing funds through havala (illegal) channels".

Currently, they stopped issuing visas on arrival to prevent the entry of Muslims from Rakhine State who identify themselves as Rohingyas.

It says the Rohingya can not use the 1951 Refugee Convention or the 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees since India was not a signatory to either. The ministry said the illegal influx of large numbers of Rohingya into India began four to five years ago, long before an exodus that saw more than 400,000 Rohingya flee to Bangladesh since August 25 to escape a Myanmar military counter-insurgency offensive that the United Nations has called "ethnic cleansing".

It added that there are around 40,000 such refugees in the country, and contented that their presence is a "serious security threat to the nation". "No illegal immigrant can pray for a writ of this Court which directly or indirectly confers the fundamental rights in general.", the affidavit filed by the Ministry of Home Affairs said.

The government also said in its affidavit that by providing refuge to Rohingyas, it will have to incur a huge extra expenditure as that it is basically a 'drain on India's resources'.

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The UN believes that the number of Rohingya refugees entering Bangladesh could double in the coming weeks.

The apex court bench posted the next hearing in the case to October 3.

Seeking more time to file a detailed response in this regard, the Centre further stated that militant elements among the Rohingyas are active in Delhi, Hyderabad, Mewar and Jammu. Their petition says that the Centre's plan to deport them violated worldwide conventions.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh on 15 September said that the government would inform the Supreme Court on its stand on the Rohingya immigrants on 18 September.

The immigrants also challenged their deportation on grounds of violation of global human rights conventions.

The demonstrators, protesting amid the full-blown Rohingya refugee crisis in Bangladesh, were stopped several kilometres from the embassy area, Efe news reported.

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