Nearly 155 Rohingyas detained in Jammu, likely to be deported?


Pallavi Sareen

Jammu, March 6: Around 155 Rohingyas living in Jammu have been shifted to a ‘holding centre’ after they could not provide valid documents, said Jammu and Kashmir Police according to an ANI report.

The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Saturday began a drive to collect biometric and other details of Rohingyas staying in Jammu, officials said.

The verification process along with a COVID test was being carried out at the MAM Stadium, Jammu amid high security.

However, locals of Kiryani Talab (an area inhabited by Rohingyas in Jammu) claim that some people never came back from the verification. They were hesitant in talking to journalists and revealing their identities because of the fear of persecution and also because of the way local media had been portraying them in a negative light.

Certain political parties and social organisations had been urging the Centre to take immediate steps for the deportation of Rohingyas and Bangladeshis. On 13th February, 2021 Division Bench of Jammu and Kashmir High Court asked the J&K administration to file its response within a month listing out measures taken so far to identify and deport illegal immigrants from Myanmar and Bangladesh living in the region.

Rohingyas living in Jammu were already in dread due to the frequent claims by govt that they will be deported. For them, there is uncertainty surrounding the Rohingyas who were called for verification but never returned.

“The ones who were married or had family returned home. But the ones who were on their own were taken by police. He told me that they’ve crossed Bari Brahmana. We don’t know if they are being taken to Punjab or back to Myanmar. But there are nearly 50-60 people I can think of who haven’t come back,” said Imran, a Myanmar national who called one of the Rohingya that had been detained by the police.

Rohan, who sells eatables outside M.A stadium claims that he saw nearly three buses filled with Rohingyas leave the stadium. Those buses were followed by Police and CRPF cars. The administration has been silent on the issue. Neither SSP Jammu Shridhar Patil nor IG Jammu Mukesh Singh responded to calls.

However, sources in the administration on the condition of anonymity told Straight Line that nearly one hundred fifty Rohingyas were being detained and would later be deported. He said that these Rohingya immigrants had illegally acquired citizenship documents, had managed to get Adhar cards and were planning to merge with the mainstream of Jammu and Kashmir’s population.

Union minister Dr Jitendra Singh had also said two months ago that Rohingyas living in Jammu and Kashmir would be deported since they do not benefit under the Citizenship Amendment Act enacted by the Centre in November last year. He had said that the Rohingyas would not be able to secure citizenship by “any means”.

However, the entire process is being carried out stealthily adding to the fears of Rohingya refugees who have UNHCR cards. According to official documents in the office of deputy commissioner Jammu, the total number of Rohingyas in Jammu is 6523. In total, 1517 Rohingya families are staying in the Jammu region out of which, 3194 males have a UNHCR card that recognizes them as refugees. There are also 2916 females who have the UNHCR card. There are still 180 males and 233 females in Jammu region belonging to Rohingya community, who do not have the UNHCR card.


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