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New Delhi Correspondent
India will repatriate seven Rohingya immigrants, who have been staying in north eastern state of Assam illegally, on Thursday, Home Ministry officials said.
This is for the first time Rohingya immigrants would be sent back to Myanmar from India. The seven Rohingyas will be handed over to Myanmar authorities at Moreh border post in Manipur state bordering that country on Thursday, the officials said.
The Rohingyas have been staying at a detention centre in Silchar in Assam since 2012 when they were detained by police under the Foreigners Act on the charge of entering India without valid documents, they said. The seven Rohingyas were today moved out of the detention centre in Silchar and being taken to Moreh.
An Assam official said the seven Rohingyas were convicted under the Foreigners Act and have completed their sentence.
Consular access had been given to New Delhi-based Myanmar diplomats who confirmed the identity of the immigrants, the Indian officials said adding confirmation of the Myanmarese citizenship of the illegal immigrants came after the Myanmar government verified their addresses in Rakhine State.
The Indian government had told Parliament last year that more than 14,000 Rohingyas, registered with the UNHCR, stay in India. However, aid agencies estimate their number to be 40,000.
Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims, described by the UN as the most persecuted minority in the world, fled their homes last year to escape an alleged crackdown by the Myanmarese military and took shelter in Bangladesh. Although Bangladesh and Myanmar signed an agreement for Rohingya repatriation more than a year ago, the process has remained a non-starter as Myanmar drags its feet over the issue.