World News January 3, 2019 / 2:38 AM
GUWAHATI, India (Reuters) – India on Thursday deported a Rohingya Muslim family of five to neighboring Myanmar, the second such group expelled in four months during a crackdown on illegal immigrants. Members of a Muslim Rohingya family sit as they pose for a photograph with Indian and Myanmar security officials before their deportation on India-Myanmar border at Moreh in the northeastern state of Manipur, India, January 3, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer
Hindu nationalist government regards the Rohingya as illegal aliens and
a security risk. It has ordered that tens of thousands of the
community, who live in small settlements and slums, be identified and
The husband, wife and three children had been
arrested and jailed in northeastern Assam state in 2014 for entering
India without valid documents, police said.
“The five Rohingya
have been handed over to Myanmar officials and they crossed the border,”
Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta, Assam’s additional director general of police,
A Reuters picture from the India-Myanmar border
showed the family members posing, with security officials of both
countries standing behind them.
Jails in Assam held 20 more
Myanmar nationals, all arrested for illegal entry, he added. But it was
not immediately clear if all were Rohingya, a largely stateless Muslim
minority in Buddhist-majority Myanmar.
“We shall send them back
to Myanmar once we get their travel permits from that country,” Mahanta
said. “Most of them sneaked into India in search of a livelihood.”
first deportation of seven Rohingya men to Myanmar in October sparked
fears of further repatriations among those sheltering in its refugee
camps, and concern that those returned faced the risk of abuse at the
hands of Myanmar authorities.
The men returned to their villages
in a relatively untroubled area of Kyauktaw in the northern Rakhine
state. They have been given so-called National Verification Cards, a
residency document that conveys a status short of citizenship.
Border Security Force arrested 230 Rohingya last year until
end-November, the highest number of detentions in at least four full
years, the Ministry of Home Affairs told parliament on Tuesday. Two women defy centuries-old Indian temple ban
estimates that 40,000 Rohingya live in the country in camps across the
country, including the capital, New Delhi, having arrived over the years
after fleeing violence and persecution in Myanmar, which denies them
In August, a U.N. report accused the Myanmar
military of mass killings and rapes of Rohingya with “genocidal intent”
in 2017 in an operation that drove more than 700,000 of them to flee to
neighboring Bangladesh, according to U.N. agencies.
denied the charges, saying its military launched a counter-insurgency
operation after attacks on security posts by Muslim militants in August
reporting by Altaf Bhat in NEW DELHI and Simon Lewis in YANGON; Writing
by Krishna N. Das; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Nick MacfieOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.