NIA told to probe illegal Rohingya immigration

Updated on Jan 13, 2022 06:02 AM IST

While asking the NIA to look into the matter, the ministry of home affairs (MHA) said in a communication to the agency that “there is a well-designed larger conspiracy to exploit the illegal migrants and also to destabilize the population ratio and demographic scenario of the country”

UN Chief Antonio Guterres said in October last year that at least 15,000 people from Myanmar are estimated to have crossed the border into India since the February 1 military coup there.
UN Chief Antonio Guterres said in October last year that at least 15,000 people from Myanmar are estimated to have crossed the border into India since the February 1 military coup there.
ByNeeraj Chauhan

The government has asked the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to probe what it believes is a well-oiled international illegal immigration racket, in which Rohingyas and Bangladeshi Muslims enter India illegally through porous border passages in Assam, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Meghalaya using fake documents, people familiar with the matter said on condition of anonymity.

Initial information with central agencies reveals the racket is run from Bengaluru but has a presence across India. The people involved not only organize the illegal entry of Rohingyas and Bangladeshi Muslims, but also arrange their transportation to various cities so that they settle there, said an official with a central agency.

The person behind the racket has been identified as Kumkum Ahmed Chaudhury of Bengaluru, who supervises illegal migration in association with Sahalam Laskar of Jammu and Raju Ali, a Pakistani national. Chaudhury and Laskar originally hail from Assam but operate from Bengaluru and Jammu , the first official added.

While asking the NIA to look into the matter, the ministry of home affairs (MHA) said in a communication to the agency that “there is a well-designed larger conspiracy to exploit the illegal migrants and also to destabilize the population ratio and demographic scenario of the country”. HT has seen a copy of the communication dated December 23.

It is suspected the gang has been successful in bringing several Rohingyas into the country over the past few years.

The central anti-terror probe agency has already formally taken up the investigation in the matter couple of weeks back and a team is trying to gather details about the racket, said another official.

The second official added that the network involved in sending Rohingyas to India usually arrange forged documents such as PAN cards, Aadhar numbers, driving licences and ration cards

The Centre has maintained that illegal immigrants including Rohingyas pose a threat to national security and that there are reports about some Rohingya migrants indulging in illegal activities. The government also claimed in parliament last month it doesn’t maintain data on THE number of Rohingyas currently staying in India.

In an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court in September 2017, in response to a petition filed by two Rohingya immigrants seeking refugee status, the home ministry said “Continuance of Rohingyas’ illegal immigration into India and their continued stay has serious national security ramifications and threats.”

The affidavit estimated that there were then around 40,000 Rohingyas Muslims in the country. It added that intelligence inputs suggested some Rohingyas had links with Pakistan-based terror organizations and that they were indulging in anti-national activities such as mobilization of funds through hawala channels, procuring fake identities and indulging in human trafficking.

Through multiple communiqués the MHA has asked states to identify illegal Rohingyas and deport them.

India is not a signatory to the UN Refugee Convention and rejects the UN position that deporting Rohingyas violates the principle of refoulment , sending refugees back to face danger.

UN Chief Antonio Guterres said in October last year that at least 15,000 people from Myanmar are estimated to have crossed the border into India since the February 1 military coup there.

Over 7 lakh Rohingya Muslims , one of the largest minority ethnic groups of Myanmar, fled their country in 2017 following a deadly crackdown. The majority of them are now living in refugee camps in Bangladesh.

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