New Delhi: The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday clarified its stand over allowing the deportation of the seven Rohingya refugees to Myanmar. It said that the seven Rohingyas were repatriated to Myanmar after confirming their willingness to go back and with the full concurrence of the Government of Myanmar.
The Ministry issued a series of statements and said, "Upon reconfirming their willingness to be repatriated on Oct 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."
It further informed that the Myanmar government issued Certificates of Identity to facilitate travel of these individuals to their hometowns in Rakhine State. The individuals also requested in 2016 that the Embassy of Myanmar should issue them relevant travel documents to facilitate their return to their country.
"In accordance with established procedures and previous precedent and with the assistance of MEA, the Embassy of Myanmar was able to establish the identity of these individuals as residents of that country," the MEA said.
In another statement, the Ministry added, "Seven individuals from Rakhine State in Myanmar had been detained in 2012 for violation of the Foreigners Act. The Chief Judicial Magistrate of Cachar at Silchar, Assam, had awarded a three-month sentence for this violation and ordered their detention pending repatriation."
The Supreme Court, earlier in the day, refused to interfere in the decision of the Centre thus allowing the deportation of the seven Rohingya refugees to Myanmar. The bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi announced that the seven Rohingyas were found to be illegal immigrants and Myanmar has accepted them as its citizens.
The Centre told Myanmar that it has issued a certificate of identity to the Rohingyas along with one month visa to facilitate deportation. The Myanmar Embassy has agreed to take them back.
The Centre told the apex court that these seven Rohingyas had entered India illegally in 2012. They were detained and they were convicted under the Foreigners Act. They were sent to jail and they have served their term.
India on Wednesday decided to deport the Rohingyas to Myanmar on Thursday. They are currently in Imphal, Manipur and will be taken to Moreh border where they'll be handed over to Myanmar authority. Earlier, they were lodged in the Silchar Detention centre in Assam.
(With inputs from ANI)