Centre says affidavit served in Rohingya case not final

The Centre on Thursday clarified that the affidavit on Rohangiya refugees attributed to it is still being worked upon and that it was inadvertently served on the counsel for petitioner Muhammad Salimullah.

Salimullah has moved the Supreme Court seeking directions to restrain the government from deporting Rohingyas.

A letter written to the petitioner’s advocate by the Central Agency Section — which deals with cases relating to the central government in the apex court — said it had served the copy of “unfinalised” affidavit “by mistake”.

“In fact the affidavit was/is in the process of being finalised. Before the affidavit is finalised reflecting the stand of the central government after consideration of all concerned departments, an unfinalised copy is served upon you inadvertently.

“The copy served upon you is also not filed in the registry of the Honourable Supreme Court. Kindly, therefore, do not treat the copy served upon you as the affidavit of the central government,” the letter said.

However, the “draft affidavit”, which reached the media, was signed by a Deputy Secretary, Foreigners Division of the Ministry of Home Affairs.

In the draft affidavit, the central government said: “There are contemporaneous inputs received by the central government, indicating linkages of some of the unauthorised Rohingya immigrants with Pakistan/ Bangladesh based terror organisations and it is found that there are organised network of agents and touts facilitating illegal migration of Rohingyas in India.”

“The continuity of Rohingya immigration and their continued stay in India, apart from being illegal, has serious national security ramification…”

“It has also been found that many Rohingyas figure in the suspected sinister design of ISIS/ other extremist groups who want to achieve their ulterior motives in India including that of flaring up communal and sectarian violence in the sensitive areas of the country,” the Centre’s affidavit read.

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