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".
This is unpardonable!— Katyusha (@praxpriya) April 1, 2021
India is deporting a 14 year old Rohingya girl to Myanmar, despite her request to be sent to Bangladesh where she could be with her parents
This is against humanitarian values & principle of non refoulement which states that ++
This is beyond the pale and totally inhumane. Lots of speeches at the #UNSC by #India but this belies it’s international legal obligations, and statements. Just unbelievable & appalling. #refugees #WhatsHappeningInMyanmar #Rohingya https://t.co/WNUEkpneGH— Priya Pillai (@PillaiPriy) April 1, 2021
The Govt of India is deporting a 14-year-old Rohingya girl to Myanmar. She wants to join her parents in Cox Bazaar, Bangladesh, but India won't agree. @Refugees @UNHumanRights— Kavita Krishnan (@kavita_krishnan) April 1, 2021
This appalling cruelty is in violation of international law https://t.co/68MscolKU1
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.
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.