51 Personalities Write Letter to Modi to Stop Rohingya Deportation
The list of personalities includes Shashi Tharoor, P Chidambaram and Swara Bhaskar, among others.
As the Supreme Court prepares to hear a petition filed by two Rohingya Muslims on 13 October, challenging the Indian government’s decision to deport the displaced group back to Myanmar, 51 prominent personalities have penned an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The letter – signed by the likes of Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, former Home Minister P Chidambaram, academic Nivedita Menon and actress Swara Bhaskar – urges the Prime Minister not to forcibly deport the Rohingyas.
Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have fled their homes in Myanmar’s Rakhine state recently, to escape a military crackdown.
The Indian government told Parliament on 9 August that more than 14,000 Rohingyas, registered with the UNHCR, were staying in India. However, aid agencies estimate that there are about 40,000 Rohingya Muslims in the country.
Among appeals made to the PM, the petitioners said:
Until the extrajudicial killings, gangrapes, arson and other forms of violence have ceased in Myanmar, the Rohingya, under the established principles of international law, enjoy the right to stay in India.
India’s credibility as a net security provider for our neighbours in the region would be severely compromised if we fail to act on behalf of our broader interests in the region.
We thus urge the Government of India to exert its diplomatic clout to pressurise the Government of Myanmar to end the security crackdown in Rakhine, respect the rule of law, and ensure the eventual safe and unhindered return of those Rohingya who wish to go home.
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