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Indian government brands Rohingya Muslims 'security threat'

The Indian government said it has evidence that there are extremists who pose a threat to the country's security among the Rohingya Muslims who have fled Burma and settled in many Indian cities.

The claims emerged during a petition hearing at India's supreme court filed on behalf of two Rohingya refugees challenging a government decision to deport the ethnic group from India.

The lawyer representing the Rohingya said the decision was discriminatory.

"This is clearly a case of religious discrimination and an attempt to arouse an anti-Muslim feeling," Prashant Bhushan said.

He said the government had no evidence of the presence of militants among the refugees who fled a crackdown by the Burmese administration.

Ministers said the decision on whether Rohingya refugees should be allowed to remain in the country should be made by the government.

"The court has no business to interfere in such matters of what they call illegal immigrants or illegal migrants," the government said in an affidavit.

Additional solicitor general Tushar Mehta told the court that the government will provide evidence of Rohingya links with extremist Islamic groups and illegal transfer of money at the next hearing.

Many Rohingya living in India fled persecution in Burma in 2012.

According to the United Nations, hundreds of thousands of Rohingya have fled Burma since a renewed military crackdown began on August 25.

About 412,000 of them fled to Bangladesh, but some have also reached India, Nepal and Pakistan in recent weeks.

The next hearing in the case is set for October 3.

AP

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