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There is not a single terrorist in our midst, Rohingya tell SC

New Delhi, SEP 13 (AGENCIES)
Published on 14 Sep. 2017 12:45 AM IST
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About 7,000 Rohingya living in 23 settlements across Jammu have moved the Supreme Court, saying there is not a single terrorist amidst them and they deserve to be treated with dignity by the government.
Applications have been filed in the Supreme Court alleging that Rohingya are 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 apex 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 senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, said.
The petition, filed through Mohammad Yunus, a Rohingya, describes the life of an average Rohingya in Jammu.
It said there has not been a single allegation of terrorism against any Rohingya ever since the community began living in Jammu. “Not a single one of them [Rohingya] has ever engaged in any terrorist activity,” the petition said. It describes the frequency of police checks in their settlements. “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,” the petition said. It said, branding Rohingya as terrorists was both unfair and discriminatory. They asked the court to intervene with the government to treat the community with some dignity, to not displace the community, which has undergone years of persecution in their own native land of Myanmar.
“The approximately 7,000 Rohingya reside peacefully on privately owned lands owned and 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.
The petition 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 the 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 petition said.

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