The Karnataka government has filed a revised affidavit in the Supreme Court, where it has retracted from its earlier affidavit stating that there is no immediate plan to deport Rohingyas in Bengaluru.
In a fresh affidavit, the state Home Department said: “The Karnataka State Police have not housed Rohingyas in any camp or detention centre within its jurisdiction. However, 126 Rohingyas have been identified in Karnataka state.”
It annexed the list of Rohingyas identified. The state government further added that, “This respondent undertakes that whatever the order that would be passed by this court will be scrupulously adhered to and followed in its letter and spirit”.
Earlier, the state government had said Upadhyay’s petition was devoid of merit and not maintainable in law and facts, and sought its dismissal.
In the previous written response, the state government had said: “The Bengaluru city police have not housed Rohingyas in any camp or detention centers within its jurisdiction. However, 72 Rohingyas identified in Bengaluru city are working in various fields and Bengaluru city police have not taken any coercive action against them as of now.” The government added that there is no immediate plan of deporting them either.
The state government’s response came on a 2017 PIL filed by BJP leader and advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, who sought the apex court’s direction to deport illegal Rohingyas.
The state government also provided the names of Rohingya refugees who were staying in the north-east division of the city. It further added that all these Rohingyas, except those below 12 years of age, have been given individual numbers by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
Upadhyaya had argued that the influx of infiltrators posed a serious threat to the unity, integrity and security of the country. He had asked the court to issue a direction to Centre and state governments to identify, detain and deport all the illegal immigrants and infiltrators including Bangladeshis and Rohingyas within one year.
The petitioner also urged the top court to issue direction to amend the respective laws to make illegal immigration and infiltration, a cognisable non-bailable and non-compoundable offence.