Restrict Rohingya Entry, Confine Their Movement, Concerned Home Ministry Tells J&K Government

Swarajya Staff

Jun 04, 2018, 08:36 PM | Updated 08:36 PM IST

Rohingyas in India. (Jasjeet Plaha/ Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
Rohingyas in India. (Jasjeet Plaha/ Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

The Centre has asked Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) government to confine illegal Rohingya settlers to pre-identified locations "within their respective jurisdictions". In similar letters to other states as well, the Centre has asked the governments to record personal particulars of the illegal settlers. These include bio metric details of the Rohingyas.

The J&K government and other state governments have been asked to not issue the illegal settlers an Aadhaar card or any other proof of identity. Dated 2 June, the communication highlighted detailed steps - measures meant to be taken by J&K government. First - confine the stay of Rohingyas to specific identified locations. Second - to enrol and record their personal particulars, biometrics and address in Myanmar. Third - no issuing of any document which could later help them claim Indian identity. The Home Ministry mentioned in the letter that "a detailed form for capturing personal particulars of the illegal immigrants" was shared with the J&K government last year.  The information has not been received.

Times of India reported that home ministry, in a letter to the chief secretary of Jammu and Kashmir, highlighted the “security risks posed by some of those Rohingya/foreigners who entered India illegally and were involved in illegal activities such as fraudulent procurement and/or fabrication of Indian identity cards — PAN, voter IDs etc — money laundering, crimes and other anti-national activities.”

It added that some of the Rohingya refugees were vulnerable to radicalisation. According to the report, the Home Ministry finds it intriguing that the refugees have preferred to stay in Jammu instead of the Kashmir Valley.

“Of late, some attempts by Rohingyas to move to states like Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have come to notice. There has also been new influx of immigrants into Jammu, Hyderabad, and Andaman & Nicobar Islands,” the report quoted an intelligence officer. It says, "According to estimates put together by the intelligence agencies last year, there are around 40,000 Rohingya Muslims illegally settled across the country."

With the letter, advisory and details sought on the Rohingyas, the Centre could be taking a step towards restricting and limiting their wider diffusion in the country beyond the camps.

The letter and the advisory seeking monitoring and confining of Rohingyas has come as part of a follow up on an advisory in 2017. The advisory had asked states to detect Rohingyas, the report states. It had also asked for the reporting of the illegal settlers to the Centre "for likely deportation".

The report adds that according to a government source, the Centre has sought a "meticulous preparation" of their personal details. These details can be shared with Myanmar for the "likely repatriation" of the illegal settlers.

Meanwhile, a TV channel was served with a notice by the Delhi Minorities Commission (DMC) in connection with a report, The Tribune reported. The report aired by the channel allegedly referred to locals of Bawana area as “Rohingyas” and “Bangladeshis”.

Get Swarajya in your inbox.