Published on: September 22, 2022 at 21:07 IST
According to information provided by security agencies and other reliable sources, Rohingya refugees in India have ties to terrorist organisations based in Pakistan, and their significant influx raises serious security concerns [Senoara Begum & Ors. vs. Union of India & Anr.].
This information was provided to the Delhi High Court by the Central government.
The government claimed in an affidavit submitted to the High Court that an organised flood of illegal migrants from Myanmar is passing through Benapole-Haridaspur (West Bengal), Hilli (West Bengal), Sonamora (Tripura), Kolkata, and Guwahati and “seriously undermining the country’s national security.”
According to the affidavit submitted by the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO), certain of the bordering States’ demographic profiles have already undergone considerable and serious changes as a result of an already existing massive influx of illegal immigrants from the neighbouring countries.
According to the affidavit, this is already having a significant impact on a number of situations, taking its toll, and directly harming Indian individuals’ fundamental and basic human rights.
“It is respectfully submitted that India is already saddled with a very serious problem of illegal migrants and is attempting to address this situation in the larger interest of the nation and keeping the national resources of the Country, requirements of India’s own population, the national security concerns of India and several other facts in consideration which are based upon objective facts derived from empirical data which are in the knowledge and contemporaneous record of the Central Government,” the government has submitted.
Senoara Begum of Myanmar and her three minor children petitioned the Centre in reaction to the decision of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and FRRO to deny their requests for exit visas to leave India and travel to the United States.
Senoara Begum claimed to not be a Rohingya in court.
In her petition, she claimed that she and her husband, Nurul Amin, had fled to India because they were being persecuted in their native Myanmar. They were married in 2004 after relocating to a camp for refugees in Bangladesh.
Amin is currently working to bring his family to the US after being able to immigrate there in 2015, obtain US citizenship, and even obtain permanent residency permits for the petitioners.
The authorities requested a “No Objection Certificate” (NOC) (containing their identity from the Myanmar embassy) and an affidavit regarding their recent travel when the petitioner and her children arrived in India from the Kutupalong Refugee camp in Bangladesh and applied for an exit permission.
The family said they were “stateless” and unable to obtain the NOC and identities.
However, the government has argued that its actions absolutely adhere to the law and are within the country’s sovereign powers to safeguard its sovereignty.
According to the affidavit, the Government of India is under no legal obligation to allow illegal immigrants to leave the country for a third country because there are no international conventions or treaties that would bind it to do so.
“It is an explicit policy of Government of India that such illegal foreigners must be deported back to their country of origin subject to their nationality verification in consultation with Ministry of External Affairs,” it has been submitted.
According to the response, FRRO had written to the Ministry of External Affairs on September 15, 2022, requesting that they contact the Myanmar Embassy to confirm the nationality of the petitioners.
The Court has been informed that after nationality has been confirmed, the Myanmar embassy will issue a certificate of identity that can be used as a travel document.
Following this, plans will be made for the quick repatriation of the foreign nationals to their home country.
India is claimed to have a vast population, an excess labour force, and a sophisticated social, cultural, and economic infrastructure by the Union government.
Providing benefits or privileges to illegal immigrants out of already available national resources would have a direct negative impact on Indian citizens as it would deny them access to their legal share of employment opportunities, subsidized housing, and medical and educational services.
This would lead to hostility toward immigrants, which would lead to social tension and a breakdown in law and order, according to the Centre.
“It is further submitted that so far as India is concerned, national security considerations rank the highest on the country’s list of priorities given its geopolitical influence in the region and its vulnerability to mass border infiltrations due to the porous nature of its border, which our country shares with many countries.”