Supreme Court asks Centre to file report on conditions in Rohingya refugee camps

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Mar 19, 2018, 06:40 AM(IST)

File photo of Myanmarese Rohingya at a refugee camp in Bangladesh. Photograph:( Reuters )

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The top court considered the submission of a senior advocate that conditions at the camps are unhygienic and 'filthiest to say the least'

The Supreme Court today asked the Centre to file a "comprehensive status report" on conditions in Rohingya refugees camps across the country.

A bench comprising of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud considered the submission of senior advocate Colin Gonsalves that conditions at the camps are unhygienic and "filthiest to say the least".

The plea alleged that poor and unhygienic conditions at these camps had led to several deaths recently.

The senior lawyer, appearing for the petitioner Zaffar Ullah, said the central government and states like Haryana, Rajasthan and Jammu and Kashmir should be asked to provide better hygienic facilities at the Rohingya refugee camps.

The Rohingyas, who fled to India after violence in Myanmar's western Rakhine state, are settled in Jammu, Hyderabad, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi-NCR and Rajasthan. 

In an affidavit filed on March 16, the centre asked the Supreme Court not to intervene in the deportation of Rohingya Muslims, saying any direction on the subject would not be in the national interest.

In its affidavit filed in the Supreme Court, the centre said that India is already facing serious problems of infiltration because of its porous border with other countries which is the root cause of the spread of terrorism in the country and takes "thousands of lives" of citizens and security personnel.

On providing medical facilities to Rohingyas, the centre said medical facilities are being provided to them in all health care centres.

The Centre also told the Supreme Court that Rohingya refugees cannot be equated with Sri Lankan Tamil refugees since the grant of certain relief facilities to the Sri Lankan Tamil Refugees has its genesis in the Indo-Ceylon Agreement of 1964 and another agreement was signed between India and Sri Lanka in 1974. 

A petitioner had demanded the Supreme Court to direct the Centre to provide same facilities to the Rohingya refugees that are being provided to the Sri Lankan Tamil refugees.

Thousands of Rohingya refugees are currently camped across the border in Bangladesh.

The United Nations has said that the Rohingyas were targeted in an army-led campaign which amounted to "ethnic cleansing".

Myanmar has denied accusations that is trying to erase the Rohingya's ties to Rakhine, insisting the army crackdown was a targeted assault on Muslim militants.

(With inputs from agencies)
 

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