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Repatriated Rohingya girl refused entry in Myanmar

By The Assam Tribune
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Sanjoy Ray

GUWAHATI, April 1: Despite diplomatic channels approving the repatriation of a minor Rohingya girl, the Myanmar Army has refused her entry into her country of origin, forcing the Indian administration to bring the 14-year-old back to Assam.

This, according to government sources, is the first of its kind development that has provided a new dimension to diplomatic talks vis-a-vis deportation of Rohingyas from India.

Although the 14-year-old girl was scheduled to be deported either on March 31 or April 1, the Myanmar Army kept the Manipur administration waiting for two days. The girl was the first Rohingya lined up to be deported from India after the military staged a coup in Myanmar.

“There was no point waiting since the Myanmar Army refused to open the gates for official repatriation of the Rohingya girl. The minor girl is being brought back to Nivedita Nari Sangstha, a Silchar-based NGO, where she has been staying ever since she was detained,” top sources told The Assam Tribune.

The girl was handed over to Assam Police by the NGO in the presence of the CWC on March 30 after which she was taken to Moreh on Thursday. She was to be handed over to the Myanmar authorities along the Moreh-Tamu border through ICP Moreh.

Sources in Manipur said that the Tengnoupal Deputy Commissioner had written to the District administrator of Tamu in Myanmar about the scheduled repatriation but it could not be executed despite waiting for the same.

The 14-year-old minor had earlier drawn the attention of the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of External Affairs through the Assam authorities requesting for her repatriation to Bangladesh instead of Myanmar so that she can stay with her parents. Her parents are reportedly lodged in a refugee camp in Bangladesh’s Cox Bazar after fleeing Myanmar fearing persecution. Her plea, however, could not be entertained.

Since 2018, as many as 39 Rohingyas have been deported from Assam. Nearly 50 Rohingyas are currently lodged in detention camps in the state, including at Tezpur, Silchar and Goalpara.

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