STORY: India’s Supreme Court on Thursday (October 04) rejected a petition seeking to stop the government from deporting seven Rohingya men to neighbouring Myanmar, paving the way for their return later in the day.
The men had been in a jail in eastern India since 2012 on charges of illegal entry, and police sent them to the border on Wednesday for deportation – the first such move against the community.
Prashant Bhushan, a lawyer who filed a court petition seeking a halt to the deportations, said their request was quashed by the top court.
Some 40,000 Rohingya live in India after having escaped earlier bouts of violence and persecution in Myanmar
The United Nations refugee agency has said conditions in Myanmar’s Rakhine State are not safe for the Rohingya, a stateless Muslim minority who have faced persecution in Buddhist-majority Myanmar.
More than 700,000 Rohingya, according to U.N. agencies, have escaped Rakhine to neighbouring Bangladesh over the past year, bringing accounts of mass killings, arson, and rapes by the Myanmar army.
U.N. officials described the Myanmar military’s action as ethnic cleansing. Myanmar has denied the charges, saying its military launched a counter-insurgency operation after attacks on security forces by Muslim militants in August last year.