Supreme Court asks Centre for report on conditions in Rohingya camps

The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday directed the Central government to file a ‘comprehensive status report’, giving details on the condition of Rohingya camps in Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir and Delhi-NCR.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud considered the submission of senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, saying that the conditions at the Rohingya camps are “unhygienic and pathetic”.

Gonsalves, who is appearing for the petitioner Zafar Ullah, who filed a public interest litigation (PIL) on the same, said that the Centre and the states, hosting these refugees should be asked to provide better hygienic facilities at these camps.

He added that the refugees had no access to clean sanitation facilities such as toilets and clean drinking water, that was leading to their deaths.

The PIL was pending in the apex court since 2013.

The Centre on Saturday told the top court that the Rohingya refugees cannot be equated with Sri Lankan Tamil refugees.

The Union Home Ministry said in an affidavit filed in the Writ Petition [Civil] No.793 of 2017 in the matter of Mohammad Samilullah versus Union of India on Thursday.

A petitioner demanded the Supreme Court to direct the Centre to provide same facilities to the Rohingya refugees that are being provided to the Sri Lankan Tamil refugees.

The Rohingya immigrants, who fled to India after violence in the Rakhine state of Myanmar, have settled in Jammu, Hyderabad, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi-NCR and Rajasthan.

More than 600,000 refugees are languishing in Bangladeshi refugee camps after fleeing a brutal Myanmar army campaign launched in August last year.

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