Indian Home Minister, Rajnath Singh reiterated that Rohingya Muslims residing in India are not refugees but illegal immigrants from Myanmar, on Thursday.
Rajnath said that the objections to deport them are baseless since Myanmar has expressed its willingness to take them back, NDTV reports.
They are not refugees, nor have they taken asylum, the minister said of the nearly 40,000 people who the Centre has said it will remove from India, provoking international criticism.
On Monday, the Centre told the Supreme Court that it will confidentially share intelligence information with judges showing Rohingya links with Pakistan-based terrorists.
The Supreme Court is deciding an appeal lodged on behalf of Rohingya against the deportation plan. The Indian Home Ministry submitted written details arguing that the hardline stance is justified by the security threat posed by illegal Rohingya immigrants, hundreds of thousands of whom have fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh, from where many have crossed into India.
The Rohingya are denied citizenship in Buddhist-majority Myanmar and regarded as illegal immigrants, despite claiming roots that date back centuries.
The ministry also said the illegal influx of large numbers of Rohingya into India began four to five years ago, long before an exodus that saw more than 400,000 Rohingya flee to Bangladesh since August 25 to escape a Myanmar military counter-insurgency offensive that the United Nations has called “ethnic cleansing”.
The court will next hear the matter on October 3.
The government told judges it has received information on Rohingya involvement in plots by IS and other “extremist groups” to ignite communal and sectarian violence in India.