15:25 GMT15 April 2021
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    India is not a signatory to the 1951 Geneva Convention and is not obliged to recognise refugees under international law. In recent years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government has been making efforts to "repatriate" the 40,000-odd Rohingya people living in different cities across the country back to Myanmar.

    New Delhi's decision to deport a 14-year-old Rohingya girl to her native Rakhine state in Myanmar, despite the girl's parents reportedly being in Bangladesh, has attracted scathingly critical reactions from social media users, who have termed the move "appalling" and "inhuman".

    ​A report in the Indian daily Assam Tribune says the girl is the first Rohingya refugee to be deported back to Myanmar after the 1 February military coup. The girl was handed over to police in the state of Assam by a local nonprofit called Nivedita Nari Sangstha on Wednesday.

    The girl's custody has since been transferred to Myanmar authorities. The Indian police escorted her to the border town of Moreh in the state of Manipur, the outlet reported.

    The teenager is said to have appealed to the Indian Home Ministry against her deportation to Myanmar, as she preferred deportation to neighbouring Bangladesh, where her parents are lodged at a refugee camp.

    Her appeal to the Indian authorities was reportedly rejected.

    New Delhi's decision comes days after India and Bangladesh reaffirmed their commitment to send back Rohingya refugees to Myanmar, during a two-day visit by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Dhaka.

    "Both Prime Ministers reiterated the importance of their safe, speedy, and sustainable return to their homeland for the greater security of the region", said a joint statement by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina.

    Approximately one million Rohingya have been forced to flee their Buddhist-majority homeland since 2017 after military action against ethnic militant groups in the Rakhine state of Myanmar. Most of these refugees have been residing in makeshift capms in Bangladesh since fleeing from military repression.

    Myanmar denies accusations of genocide and says the army was fighting a legitimate counter-insurgency campaign.

    "Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina requested India, as a member of the United Nations Security Council, to play a strong role in the early repatriation of the displaced Rohingyas back to Myanmar", the joint statement issued after the Modi-Hasina meeting read.

    Last week, the Indian government told the country's Supreme Court that it was in the process of determining the nationality of more than 150 Rohingya people detained at a "holding centre" in the northern Indian city of Jammu last month.

    "India can't be the capital for all the illegal migrants of the world", the Indian government said before the court, while adding that illegal migrants are posing security threats to the country.

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