Majeri (Haryana) [India], Oct.2 (ANI): Dispossessed and poor, and living lives of misery and squalor in a 100 square yard area in Majeri, Haryana, is preferable to going back to their original homes in Myanmar for 250 Rohingya Muslim refugees.
"I came to India to escape from certain death. I have no doubt I would have been killed. I don't want to go back to Myanmar," Hussain told ANI.
He, however, says he has no qualms about being deported to Myanmar, but demands that India ensures safe passage and guarantees their well being.
"We don't want to be killed there," he pleads.
Thirty-year-old Shabnam Begum has a similar story to tell. She also entered India illegally as she apprehended she would be killed in Myanmar.
"Please don't send us back to Myanmar. We might be killed there. Even if I die here, please let me stay here," she says with folded hands.
Their local neighbors say these Rohingya families should be deported back to Myanmar.
Jeet Singh Tewatia, 65, believes they are a nuisance and adds that some of them are involved in the illegal liquor trade.
"Why should they be allowed to stay here in our country? We have many problems to counter. We should not take another one. The Government of India should take note and deport them as soon as possible," Tewatia told ANI.
It may be recalled that on September 18, the Indian Government filed an affidavit before the Supreme Court in which it said that Rohingya Muslims were staying in India illegally and without valid identities. Therefore, they should be deported back to Myanmar, as they were a "threat to the country."
The Law Officer representing the Union of India, Shiv Mangal Sharma, who assisted in the case, told ANI that the Centre is determined to send these refugees back.
"They don't have valid travel document. Most of them are involved in offences. We have our own problems, which is huge in numbers. The Government of India is examining the issue very closely and the matter is sub judice," Sharma told ANI.
Senior Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan, who is arguing for petitioner, Mohammad Salllimullah, a Rohingya Muslim refugee, and sought a direction from the apex court for not being deported to Myanmar, told ANI that there was no evidence of their being involved in any kind of terrorist activity or being involved in a war against India.
"There is no evidence against these Rohingya Muslim refugees staying illegally in India or of their illegal activities. But the Government of India is saying that the Intelligence Bureau has certain inputs as proof of it. They are also human beings. Take proper steps, but you just
can not deport them to Myanmar," Bhushan told ANI.
By Suchitra Kalyan Mohanty