Search operations at Rohingya refugee camps in Nuh
Gurugram: Nuh police on Tuesday conducted search operations at ten Rohingya refugee camps and recovered over 50 illegal vehicles. Police said most of the vehicles were modified and used for selling fruits, vegetables and collecting scraps.
The search operations follow the death of deputy superintendent of police Surender Singh, who was allegedly run over by a dump truck and killed on July 19 in Panchgaon’s Chilla village. Police said the raids were conducted as part of the crackdown against illegal vehicles to check criminal activities in the district.
According to police, there are ten camps in Nuh where 1,771 Rohingya refugees (around 500 families) have been living since 2012. These camps are situated in Shahpur Nangli, Ferozepur Namak, Chandeni, Saddik Nagar and Punhana.
According to Varun Singla, superintendent of police, several complaints regarding vehicles parked in these camps without registration number plates were received. “We are conducting a special search operation across the district. Our aim is to curb crime and to ensure no one is staying illegally or without valid documents. People living with proper IDs and legally should not fear police action as we are not targeting anyone,” he said.
Singla added that the search operation was important to keep a check on people taking shelter in these camps and taking advantage of the refugees. “All people living here are recorded and they have been asked to support our investigation and not to give shelter to any miscreants or anyone involved in illegal mining,” he said.
Police said they have recovered two scooters, 20 motorbikes, rickshaws, vans and over 20 quadricycles fitted with temporary engines during the raids.
Ansarul Houq, a refugee whose camp was raided, said that police seized their rickshaws, the only means of livelihood for them. “We ferry passengers from one place to another and also do garbage collection for a scrap dealer. We took these vehicles on rent and modified them according to our convenience. We won’t survive without earning a single penny as we have no other form of employment,” he said.
Sadiq Naqvi, another refugee who used to sell vegetables and fruits said that he rented a battery-operated rickshaw. “I used to travel to villages and sell vegetables and feed my family. Now I am left without any means to earn money and savings,” he said.
The people in these camps buy second-hand vehicles, or take them on rent after signing an affidavit with the locals. They do not have a driving license or documents for the vehicle if not provided by the owner, a social worker said.
According to Sabber Kyaw Min, founder and director. Rohingya Human Rights Initiative, an NGO that works for the betterment of the community, most refugees in these camps work as rickshaw pullers, ragpickers, and vegetable sellers. “They don’t drive on main roads and are not involved in any kind of illegal activities, including illegal mining. The surprise inspection with heavily armed forces started in the early morning and ended by afternoon on Tuesday. Two refugees were injured during the raid as they tried to hide, unaware of the exercise. The community fear arbitrary detention as some of them were asked to appear before a special branch of the police,” he said.
Min further said that if any refugee is involved in illegal activities, the NGO will assist the police, but conducting such raids makes them feel unsafe and harassed. “This is an unfair practice and act of discrimination against them. The situation at the camps is grim and people live in fear. They are being treated as if they are dacoits or criminals. They have proper affidavits for the vehicles and are trying to make their ends meet,” he said.
Meanwhile, police have arrested 11 people so far in DSP Singh’s murder investigation. Two suspects were arrested on Tuesday night and Wednesday. They have been identified as Shokeen aka Andha of Alwar, Rajasthan, and Kallu Aka Fazru of Panchgaon. They were taken on two days police remand following the arrest.
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