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‘CAA will affect Indian Muslims because Hindu refugees will get voting rights’: Indira Jaising’s argument in SC, after spending years advocating for Rohingyas

Rohingyas are economic migrants from Myanmar who cross Bangladesh and enter India in search of better opportunities. The secular liberals advocating for the rights of Rohingyas and dehumanising the persecuted refugees who are set to benefit from CAA, just because they are not Muslims, show the hollow bias of their rhetoric.

On Tuesday (March 19) the Supreme Court refused to put an interim stay on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and asked the Centre to file its response in 3 weeks. The Supreme Court issued the decision while hearing a group of 237 petitions seeking to stay the statute itself and/or the Citizenship Amendment Rules 2024. The court has scheduled the matter for April 9th to hear the Union’s answer.

The hearing was delayed by a three-judge bench consisting of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, Justices JB Pardiwala, and Manoj Misra at the request of Solicitor General Tushar Mehta. Notably, the Center was represented by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta. Noting that the act doesn’t affect any petitioner, the Solicitor General was quoted as saying that the act has no intentions to take away the citizenship of anyone. “There is no prejudice caused to the petitioners. What is done is, those who have migrated… no new person is given, those who entered before 2014,” he said.

Meanwhile, Supreme Court lawyer Indira Jaising who has a history of defending the Congress party and the banned terrorist organization Popular Front of India (PFI), argued that giving voting rights to the persecuted Hindus arriving from the neighboring Islamic countries would be a major concern.

The lawyer indicated that no citizenship should be granted under the law as that will affect the “minority communities”. On asking how would providing citizenship under the law affect minority communities in India, Jaising said, “Because they (Hindus arriving from nearby Islamic countries) will get voting rights..that is how it will affect them (minorities).”

During the hearing, SG Mehta also slammed one of the petitioners’ counsel, Advocate Nizam Pasha for needlessly dragging NRC into the CAA issue. Mehta said, “NRC is not an issue (in this case). This attempt was made outside the court four years back. Misleading people that you will be out of NRC. Same thing Mr. Pasha did. NRC is not an issue here. Grant of citizenship is. Please don’t do this.” 

The petitions sought a stay on the rules till the top court disposes of the petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the CAA 2019. However, the Court refused to put an interim stay on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and asked the Centre to file its response in 3 weeks.

It is important to note that several opposition parties in India have time and again furthered the illegal stay of the Bangladeshi Muslims by providing them illegal ration cards, employment, and also voter ID cards.

Muslims from Bangladesh and Myanmar illegally arrive in India, obtain forged Aadhaar, and voter IDs, and settle in the states like Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, and Bihar. In most of the cases, these illegal immigrants have also been responsible for increased incidents of crime in the country. The Centre has time and again stated that they identify illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and Myanmar as a security threat and they are economic refugees, not persecuted minorities like the Hindu immigrants from neighboring nations.

UP Police discovered Rohingya refugees’ involvement in human trafficking

The UP Police and the other state police have in the past few years taken cognizance of the event and arrested illegal immigrants in numbers. In the year 2021, the UP Police arrested four Rohingya illegal immigrants from Meerut for running a sophisticated international human trafficking syndicate from inside the country. Four Rohingyas – Hafiz Shamiullah, Azizul Rahman, Mohammad Ismail, and Mufizur Rahman were caught running a notorious human trafficking syndicate and helped other illegal Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar infiltrate India.

The police also discovered that the accused helped Rohingyas settle in Bangladesh to cross over to India with the help of forged documents such as Voter Id, Aadhar cards, passports, etc. The police said that the four accused charged money from fellow Rohingyas to bring them into India. In addition, the accused also got them employment in various parts of the country and took half of their salary as their share. The arrested Rohingya Muslims also helped innocent Rohingya women from Myanmar infiltrate India and later trafficked them to different parts of the world.

In addition, these accused also helped Rohingya Muslims to get Indian citizenship documents, said Uttar Pradesh police. They used cards given by UNHCR to apply for a work permit in the country and forged other documents sometimes to establish themselves as legal citizens of the country.

In another similar operation, the UP Police in the year 2021 recovered Rs 70,000, PAN, Aadhaar, and UNHCR cards from the arrested illegal immigrants. The Police also stated that these illegal immigrants had been getting financial support from various sympathizers.

In the year 2022, the central government informed that in the last few years, as many as 2399 Bangladeshi nationals had been intercepted and found to be using fraudulently obtained Indian documents. Having said so, the government had written to all states and Union territories to take prompt steps to identify illegal Bangladeshi migrants staying in India and initiate a process to deport them as per the provisions of the law.

Delhi’s AAP government settled 300 illegal Rohingyas, provided them free ration, electricity for votes

It is important to note that AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan and Kejriwal’s Delhi government had systematically settled around 300 illegal Rohingyas in Delhi in the year 2020. The report suggested that they were living illegally right across the cremation ground in the Madanpur Khadar area of the national capital. Moreover, they were settled on the land of the irrigation department of the Uttar Pradesh government which is about 5.2 acres of land.

It had also come to the fore that the AAP MLA and the Delhi government led by Arvind Kejriwal had been providing huge amounts of ration to them. Illegal immigrants were also provided electricity through illegal means and also boring water for free along with the ration. The locals then alleged that they were not provided ration because they were Hindus and ‘did not vote for AAP’.

Congress extending support to Rohingyas

Notably, in the year 2017, the Congress party had backed the illegal stay of Rohingya Muslims claiming that they were persecuted in their country due to their religious identity. Congress leader Sushmita Dev asserted that the government should have considered the case of Rohingya Muslims on the grounds of ‘humanity’ and in accordance with international law on refugees. The leader cited Articles 14 and 15 of the Constitution to suggest that the Rohingya Muslims had a right to get protection from the Centre.

Sushmita Dev also alleged that the Citizenship Amendment Act is discriminatory as it decriminalizes an illegal Sikh, Buddhist, or Hindu migrant from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka but the same principle is not considered for a Muslim immigrant.

Also recently, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi during his ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ attacked the BJP and the RSS community for allegedly targeting illegal Muslims (mainly Bangladeshi Muslims) for votes. During the rally, he indicated that the party was playing politics of hatred and polarising the communities for votes.

Opposing the CAA, Gandhi claimed that his party was against anyone who would create discrimination based on caste and religion. “We believe in an India that belongs to everybody, all communities, all religions, all cultures,” he was quoted as saying as he raised his voice for illegal Muslims from the neighbouring countries.

Indira Jaising and her support to the PFI and Rohingya Muslims

It becomes crucial to note that Supreme Court lawyer Indira Jaising has a history of supporting the banned terrorist organization PFI and also the illegal Muslims infiltrating India. It was reported earlier that during the investigation into the Anti-CAA riots in 2019, the ED had found that Jaising received Rs 4 lakhs from one of the PFI accounts based out of Kozhikode, Kerala. Apart from Jaising, several other Congress leaders and Supreme Court lawyer Kapil Sibal had allegedly received Rs 77 lakhs from the PFI.

Jaising was also the one who led the UN fact-finding probe into ‘atrocities’ against illegal Rohingya Muslims in India. She had been raising her voice in their support citing human rights. In the year 2018, she also posted a tweet asking Indians to protect Rohingya Muslims, the screenshot of which is making rounds on social media after her recent argument in the Supreme Court in the CAA case.

The lawyer yesterday indicated that no citizenship should be granted under the law to the persecuted minorities from the neighbouring nations as that will affect the ‘minority communities’ in India. On asking how would providing citizenship under the law affect minority communities in India, Jaising said, “Because they (Hindus arriving from nearby Islamic countries) will get voting rights..that is how it will affect them (minorities).”

It is indeed baffling that some ‘secular-liberals’ in India apply their humanitarian consideration based on the religion of the people involved. CAA does not affect any Indian citizen, that has been clear from day 1. It only expediates the citizenship process for the persecuted minorities already living as refugees in India before 2014. The persecuted minorities are often the victims of partition. They were promised protection by the Islamic government of Pakistan but were tortured out of their homeland. India owes a moral responsibility towards the persecuted minorities who have fled to India as refugees from the neighbouring Islamic countries because they were Indians to begin with and they never demanded a separate nation.

Rohingyas are economic migrants from Myanmar who cross Bangladesh and enter India in search of better opportunities. The secular liberals advocating for the rights of Rohingyas and dehumanising the persecuted refugees who are set to benefit from CAA, just because they are not Muslims, show the hollow bias of their rhetoric.

At present, the Supreme Court has refused to put an interim stay on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and asked the Centre to file its response in 3 weeks.

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Siddhi Somani
Siddhi Somani
Siddhi Somani is known for her satirical and factual hand in Economic, Social and Political writing. Having completed her post graduation in Journalism, she is pursuing her Masters in Politics. The author meanwhile is also exploring her hand in analytics and statistics. (Twitter- @sidis28)

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