Rohingya camps deserted in Jammu; more detentions likely


“We have UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) cards.”

Pallavi Sareen

Jammu, March 7: Rohingya camps inhabited by immigrants who escaped persecution in Myanmar and were living in Jammu are deserted after 155 Rohingya immigrants were sent to a “holding centre”, under section 3(2)e of the Foreigners Act.

Officials said, these Rohingyas were not holding valid travel documents required under section (3) of the Passports Act.

Mohammad Ayoub, a Myanmar National claims, “A 60-year-old woman was detained. She had her UNHCR card. Many others who were taken away had their UNHCR cards but police is saying they did not have documents.”

There is fear on the faces of Rohingyas who are still living in Jammu and the Rohingya markets in Narwal Bala and Kiryani Telab are deserted. Locals state that the Rohingyas have not left Jammu but have temporarily abandoned their shelters for the fear of being detained.

Mohammad Haroon, another Myanmar national said, “Police came today as well asking us to go for biometrics. We have already shared our biometrics once before and if they want to take it again, they should come here. We will not go, leaving our kids behind. What if they take us away?”

IGP Jammu Mukesh Singh, according to a Hindustan Times report said, “After sending them to the holding centre, their nationality verification will be done as per the prescribed norms. Following that, the process to deport these illegal immigrants will be initiated.”

Yesterday, the J&K administration had started the verification process of Rohingyas at the MA Stadium where COVID tests of Rohingyas was also being done.

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

Shabir Khan said that besides the Covid test, the officials jotted down his credentials including his name, parentage, name of the village he used to live in before coming to India and took his thumb impression. Men, women, young and old, including toddlers, were seen coming out of the stadium after the verification exercise.

However, nearly 155 Rohingyas were taken in three buses to Hiranagar sub-jail that has been converted into a “holding centre” covertly, adding to the fears of Rohingyas living in Jammu holding UNHCR cards that they are likely to be detained as well.

“We also didn’t want to come here. I was a Zamindar back in Myanmar. But our country was not like India. Here there is equal law for Hindu, Muslims and others. In our country, it was very different. That is why we came here,” said Imran Hannan.

Also Watch: Rohingya localities deserted in Jammu; more detentions likely


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