As the Supreme Court prepares to hear a petition filed by two Rohingya Muslims on 13 October, challenging the Indian government’s decision to deport the displaced group back to Myanmar, 51 prominent personalities have penned an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The letter – signed by the likes of Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, former Home Minister P Chidambaram, academic Nivedita Menon and actress Swara Bhaskar – urges the Prime Minister not to forcibly deport the Rohingyas.
Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have fled their homes in Myanmar’s Rakhine state recently, to escape a military crackdown.
The Indian government told Parliament on 9 August that more than 14,000 Rohingyas, registered with the UNHCR, were staying in India. However, aid agencies estimate that there are about 40,000 Rohingya Muslims in the country.