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Guwahati: Ten Rohingya, lodged in Assam’s Tezpur central jail for the last seven years, have appealed to the Guwahati high court to either give them refugee status or send them back to Myanmar.
The ten persons, belonging to two related families, were arrested in 2014 for entering the country without valid documents and have been in jail since then.
Justice Kotiswar Singh and Justice Malasri Nandy, hearing their plea recently, observed that the petitioners have admitted that they are citizens of Myanmar who have been convicted for entering the country without proper documentation.
According to Hindustan Times, the petitioners had approached the high court in June 2017 seeking refugee status in India or deportation to Myanmar.
The bench stated, “It has been submitted that the present petitioners are admittedly citizens of Myanmar who have been convicted for entering this country without proper documentation, and had served out sentences imposed by the competent court, and have been languishing in jail for the last seven years.”
“The plea of the petitioners is that they be allowed to remain in India by granting them refugee status or be deported to their country of origin i.e Myanmar. The authorities, however, are not taking any decision in this regard and they are languishing in jail,” the court observed.
“The Special Counsel of Foreigners’ Tribunal has sought some time to take instructions from the government on the course of action it would adopt in the case of the petitioners,” the court said.
The court posted the matter for further hearing on December 16.
The petitioners are Saidur Rahman, his wife and three children, and Mahmadulla, his wife and three children. They hail from Coundang village in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.