Rohingyas, Bangladeshi refugees likely target of Khattar govt’s updated NRC
The recent decision of the BJP government in Haryana to verify the citizenship of the state residents by updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC) seems to be aimed at ‘getting rid’ of Rohingyas and Bangladeshi refugees concentrated mainly in the national capital region (NCR) districts of Gurgaon, Faridabad and Nuh, through a legal framework.
Chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, who on Sunday announced implementation of NRC on the lines of Assam, indicated that services of former judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Justice HS Bhalla, would be utilised for NRC updation.
‘Facilities provided at par with Indian citizens’
The Rohingyas, an ethnic community of Muslims from Myanmar, who became stateless after enactment of a citizenship law in their country, are residing in camps in Mewat region of Haryana besides a few in Faridabad district.
Top government officials said there are about 430 families, comprising about 1,600 Rohingya migrants, who have sought refuge in Haryana.
“The numbers of illegal immigrants (Rohingya) are not high at the moment. But they will continue to increase. The state government would like to get rid of them using the legal framework available under the Citizenship Act, 1955, the law from which the NRC draws its powers,’’ an officer said.
A Supreme Court-appointed committee, to look into the complaints of denial of basic rights and amenities to Rohingya immigrants residing in Mewat camps, had told the apex court that Rohingyas were not being discriminated against despite being illegal immigrants.
“They are being provided with basic facilities like health care, water, sanitation and education. The quality and comprehensiveness of the services provided are not less than those provided to the Indian citizens and are within the available infrastructure and resources of the district,’’ the committee said in its report.
Growing influx of Bangladeshi refugees
Besides Rohingya immigrants, police officials said there has been an influx of Bangladeshi refugees in Gurgaon and Faridabad who work as labourers and domestic helps.
“Most of them are Muslims but have rechristened themselves as Hindus. The police have often made attempts to deport them but in vain. A large number of Bangladeshi refugees detained for questioning present themselves as residents of West Bengal. The police teams even went to West Bengal to verify their antecedents and many a times found them to be residents of enclaves on the India-Bangladesh border,” said a police official.
“The NRC process may help us weed out a large number of them,’’ he added.
As per rough estimates, 6 to 7 lakh Bangladeshi immigrants are settled in Gurgaon and Faridabad.