The Indian Supreme Court has directed the country’s central government to submit a detailed report within four weeks, on the overall living condition in Rohingya camps scattered across India.
Around 40,000 Rohingyas are living in camps, and the court has inquired about whether the refugees have access to basic human necessities like potable water, toilets, education and healthcare.
The Supreme Court also marked three refugee camps, and ordered the government to submit a thorough report about the living condition there.
The camps are Kalindi Kunj in Delhi, and Faridabad and Mewat in Haryana.
A three-member Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra passed the order on Monday, giving a light of hope to the Rohingya refugees living in India.
Speaking to the correspondent, a local Rohingya leader and also a student of Delhi University, Ali Zohor said: “We are optimistic that the court will not pass a verdict granting the government permission to deport us, as the Supreme
Court and the chief justice have ordered the authorities to check on us.”
The court was scheduled to pass a verdict in a case on Monday, filed in response to a decision made by the central government to deport Rohingya refugees currently living in India.
The next hearing for this case has been deferred to May 9, after submission of the report on the living condition in Rohingya camps.
In August, 2017, the Central Government announced it was planning to deport Rohingya refugees living in India, citing them a threat to the country's security.
Two Rohingya immigrants- Salimullah and Mohd Shaqir then filed a case with the Supreme Court, seeking the same support for Rohingya refugees as is being provided the Tamil refugees.
However, the Indian Supreme Court refused to pass an order directing the authorities to ensure educational and healthcare facilities for Rohingya refugees on March 19.
During the hearing, the state prosecutor told the court that any verdict given in favour of the Rohingya will get strong media attention, which in turn could negatively impact India’s diplomatic ties with Bangladesh and Myanmar.
The Supreme Court at that time accepted the state prosecutor’s logic and refused to pass an interim order.
But some analysts believe that the top court of India has suspected that the Rohingya refugees are living without basic human necessities, and therefore have directed the central government to compile a report on the above-mentioned camps.
The diplomatic ties between India and Bangladesh will surely be affected by the Supreme Court verdict on Rohingya deportation.
If the Indian Supreme Court grants the central government permission to deport Rohingya refugees, the Indian Home Ministry could attempt to push back around 40,000 Rohingya into Bangladesh.
India’s Border Security Force (BSF) Director General KK Sharma has admitted in the past that India has already pushed back an unknown number of Rohingya into Bangladesh.
The Bangladesh High Commission in Delhi is keeping a close eye on the proceedings of this case.
This article was first published on banglatirbune.com