New Delhi: India on Thursday deported seven Rohingya immigrants, who have been staying in Assam illegally, to their country of origin Myanmar, in a first such move with regard to the people from the Rakhine province of the neighbouring country.
The illegal immigrants were detained in 2012 and since then they were lodged in Cachar Central Jail in Assam's Silchar.
"Seven Myanmarese nationals have been deported today. They were handed over to the authorities of the Myanmar at Moreh border post in Manipur," Assam Additional Director General of Police (Border) Bhaskar J. Mahanta said over phone.
Consular access had been given to Myanmar diplomats, who confirmed the identity of the immigrants, Mahanta said.
Earlier, the Supreme Court had allowed their deportation to Myanmar, saying they were found by the competent court as illegal immigrants and have been accepted by their country of origin as citizens.
"Having considered the prayer, we would not like to interfere with the decision taken. The petition is dismissed," a bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices SK Kaul and KM Joseph said.
"Even the country of their origin has accepted them as its citizens," it said.
The bench rejected the plea made by one of the Rohingyas, who had filed an application seeking to restrain the Centre from deporting the seven Rohingyas lodged in a detention centre at Silchar in Assam to Myanmar.
The Centre informed the court that Myanmar has issued a certificate of identity to the seven Rohingyas along with one month visa to facilitate their deportation.
"Myanmar government gave them certificate of identity and one month visa to facilitate their deportation," Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the bench.
The application was filed by one Jaffarullah, who said Rohingyas should not be deported under any kind of duress as they have migrated due to "genocide" in Myanmar.