New Delhi, Nov 23 : The Kerala government has told the Supreme Court that it has not come across any instance of Rohingya refugees having any association with either ISI or the Islamic State.
The Kerala government, in a statement in the Supreme Court, said: “So far, no instances of Rohingyas being associated with ISI/ISIS is reported in the state.”
The state government’s response came to a 2017 plea by advocate Ashwini Upadhyay seeking directions to the central and state governments to identify, detain and deport all illegal immigrants and infiltrators, including Bangladeshis and Rohingyas, within one year.
The Kerala government said: “During the period of last 5 years, no case under Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act 1956, was reported against illegal Bangladesh immigrants or Rohingyas in the state.”
The government added that no cross-border threat perception existed in Kerala.
“But that state has a vast range of coastal areas. Strict instructions have been given to field officers concerned to maintain close watch on the influx of illegal immigrants through sea route, by the effective co-operation of coastal police,” said the government.
The state government added that out of 70 Bangladesh nationals arrested, 57 were deported to Bangladesh and the remaining 13 are undergoing legal proceedings. It further added that as per the directions of the Ministry of Home Affairs, the government has constituted a committee under the chairmanship of the home secretary to detect foreigners who have illegally overstayed in India since January 1, 2011.
The state government said the directions have been given to the officers to curtail intrusion of illegal immigrants, under the guise of being north-Indian migrant labourers.
On October 30, the Karnataka government filed a revised affidavit in the Supreme Court, where it has retracted from its earlier affidavit stating that there is no immediate plan to deport Rohingyas in Bengaluru.
In the affidavit, the home department said: “The Karnataka State Police have not housed Rohingyas in any camp or detention centre within its jurisdiction. However, 126 Rohingyas have been identified in Karnataka state…”
The state government annexed the list of Rohingyas identified.
The state government further added that, “this respondent under take that whatever the order that would be passed by this court will be scrupulously adhered and followed in its letter and spirit”.
Earlier, the state government had said Upadhyay’s petition was devoid of merit and not maintainable in law and facts, and sought its dismissal.
In the previous written response, the state government had said: “The Bengaluru city police have not housed Rohingyas in any camp or detention centres within its jurisdiction. However, 72 Rohingyas identified in Bengaluru city are working in various fields and Bengaluru city police have not taken any coercive action against them as of now.”
The government added that there is no immediate plan of deporting them either.