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Rohingya Muslims are a security threat in J&K, will be deported, says Dy CM

Nirmal Singh on Friday said that Rohingya Muslims were a threat to security in the state as they were prone to the sinister designs of terrorists in the border state.

india Updated: Dec 08, 2017 19:42 IST
Ravi Krishnan Khajuria
Ravi Krishnan Khajuria
Hindustan Times, Jammu
Rohingya children outside a house on the outskirts of Srinagar.(PTI)

Jammu and Kashmir deputy chief minister Nirmal Singh on Friday said that Rohingya Muslims were a threat to security in the state as they were prone to the sinister designs of terrorists in the border state.

Talking to Hindustan Times on the sidelines of an ITBP programme here, Singh, who heads group of ministers (GoM) on Rohingya Muslims, said they will be deported but in consonance with the dynamics of “security and communal situation” in the state.

Thousands of Rohingyas have fled the persecution and military crackdown in their native Rakhine province in Myanmar over the last two years and have taken refuge in neighbouring countries such as Bangladesh and India.

Currently, around 40,000 Rohingya Muslims are living illegally in India, with around 7,000 reported to be in Jammu and Kashmir.

“Definitely, this matter concerns us very much because they are the people who are in the border state. They have settled here and they are very prone to the terrorists’ designs. So, we are very concerned about the issue,” Nirmal Singh said.

He said the Centre has already made its stand clear on the issue.

The Indian home ministry has said that the illegal immigrants not only infringe on the rights of citizens by being a burden on the limited resources of the country, but also pose grave security challenges, and have to be deported.

On March 4, home minister Rajnath Singh had sought from the state government steps being initiated to check further influx of Rohingyas in Jammu.

On the action taken, Nirmal Singh said “Whatever is possible in the larger interest of security of the state and communal situation here, we are going to do that.”

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reportedly issued an advisory to the Rohingya Muslims living in Jammu on November 8, telling them that it was not safe to live in Jammu, and it could help them relocate to places outside Jammu and Kashmir.

However, Rohingya Muslims appear reluctant to go back to Myanmar from where they escaped persecution and reached all the way to Jammu.

Maulana Shafiq, 37, a cleric who runs a “madrassa” or Islamic school for Rohingya children in Narwal said that four days back, a woman official of the UNHCR had visited their cluster and told them that Jammu was no longer safe for them and hence, they should move to other places outside the state.

“They (UNHCR officials) have been telling us the same thing for the past over two months now. They promised three months ration and room for every family but there was nothing on the ground,” he said.

Following UNHCR’s advisory, around 50 families comprising 250 people had shifted to Hyderabad over a month back where they are facing starvation, he said, and claimed that some of them have even gone to Bangladesh.

“We have shanties here and do menial jobs here to eke out two square meals. We request the government to allow us to live here. We don’t feel any threat or danger to our lives here in Jammu. But if there is no way out, then we have to shift,” he added.

The GoM headed by Nirmal Singh has health and medical education minister Bali Bhagat, rural development minister Abdul Haq Khan and consumer affairs and public distribution minister Choudhary Zulfikar.

First Published: Dec 08, 2017 19:41 IST