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Illegal immigration from Myanmar

The issue of illegal immigrants from Myanmar came into limelight a few months back when a question was raised by a BJP member in the previous Legislative Assembly. In reply to the question Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said that Rohingyas of Burma numbering around 5500 had come to Jammu and are settled in two districts of Jammu and Samba in 2012 or 2011. Although, the subject was not elucidated or opened for detail discussion in the Assembly after what the CM said is mysterious particularly on the part of Jammu MLAs because they illegal immigrants had settled down in Jammu province and they should have been more concerned about it. However, their silence notwithstanding the local and national media took up the issue seriously and the debate on illegal Rohingya immigrants from Myanmar as dragged into public domain.  With the media coming to play  S, role some BJP activists in general in Jammu but more prominently Dr. Jitendra Singh, MOS in PMO raised the issue in a couple of his public speeches asking how could it be possible to allow settlement of foreigners in the State in the wake of the State  Subject rules? Hard pressed by sections of civil society, the Home Minister asked the State Government to furnish details pertaining to these illegal migrants into the State and related matters. Perhaps the State Government did send in a belated and truncated report, which probably was more concealing and less revealing. However, after the Home Ministry ordered a survey of Rohingya migrants in the country it was found that more than 45,000 Rohingyas had entered India and were living in groups in Hyderabad, UP, Delhi, Rajasthan and Jammu. It was but expected that the Home Ministry would order investigation into this illegal immigration and examine its consequences in wider perspective.
The Rohingyas are the Muslims of Myanmar living in the western State of Rakhine. There are more than a million of these Rohingya Muslims in the Rakhine State of Myanmar, who seem to have been infiltrated by Bangladesh extremist Muslim clergy and activists of ISI both working together to whip up religious frenzy among them against the Buddhist population of Rakhine. They are reported to have been provided with lethal arms by Pakistan’s ISI and Bangladeshi terrorist groups who were in the regular habit of bringing arms to them by clandestinely crossing Bangladesh-Myanmar border, which is porous and easy to violate. The Rohingya Muslims organized themselves in political force and then committed atrocities on the Buddhists, their neighbours. Many killings took place and the Rohingyas torched many villages of Buddhists. Naturally the Myanmar Government intervened to protect the Buddhists. In this process the population of Rakhine was divided and polarization of society took place. The Rohingyas formed Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army which now began fighting the state forces of Myanmar with advanced weaponry and tactics of fighting a guerrilla war with the objective of derailing Myanmar government and creating law and order situation in that country. However, in retaliatory action aimed at protecting sovereignty and solidarity of the State of Myanmar, state forces launched massive anti terror campaign which forced hundreds of thousands of the Rohingyas to flee their native land. They have fled to many countries/ According to one report more than 360000 of them have fled to Pakistan and about a lakh of them are in Saudi Arabia. According to reports emanating from Myanmar, ISI and ISSI and Pakistan-based terrorist organizations have arranged terror travailing camps for them in parts of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. Some Rohingya leaders of ARS army leaders have received training in these camps before leading armed attacks on Myanmar army units. It is strange that UN Human Rights Council has issued them refugee certificates without discussing the issue with the Nobel Laureate Aung Sang Suu Ki who is the Counsellor in Myanmar. It makes a case of no confidence against UNHRC.
In an affidavit submitted by the Home Ministry before the Apex Court, the Ministry has spoken of these illegal immigrants as source of threat to the security of the country. India is not a signatory to the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, 1951, and as such the obligations concerned to non-refoulement are not applicable. The affidavit states that the provisions of Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, 1951 and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees, 1967 cannot be relied upon by the petitioner since India is not a signatory o either of them. It is respectfully submitted that the obligation concerning the prohibition of return/non-refoulement is a codified provision under the provisions of 1951 Convention referred to above. India, therefore, would not be violating any rule national or international and not even the UN Human Rights charter by deposing the illegal immigrants called Rohingyas.
In the case of these illegal immigrants to J&K, we had in an earlier editorial raised a number of questions in this context. How come that the Rohingyas from Myanmar could cross the border of India-Bangladesh and then travel all through so many states of Northern India to arrive in Jammu without being questioned anywhere enroute their long travel? Is Indian security system so fragile that it could not detect the illegal movement of more than ten thousand foreign nationals from one corner of the country to another corner? Why did they come to J&K, a disturbed state where they would become vulnerable? Why did they settle in Jammu region and why not Kashmir where on the basis of religious affinity they would be welcome and feel more comfortable? Why did they settle down in Jammu and Samba districts both of which are very closes to border with Pakistan and why did they choose to live close to the border? These questions clearly show that their movement into India and Jammy is the result of a conspiracy in which
Elements interested in destabilising the region are deeply interested. It is noteworthy that they came to Jammu in 2011/12 when NC was in power. The then NC Government never made a revelation of these fake refugees having come and settled in Jammu and Samba. As the affidavit of the Home Ministry states, these people have links with fanatical Muslim organizations and are a serious security threat to India. We are already saddled with so many problems and we cannot accommodate them as it means drain on our economy. It is mysterious that they have been registered as refugees, have obtained identity cards and ration tickets and even have PAN cards got issued to them.
We fully support the idea that security of the nation should surpass all other considerations and as the MHA is equipped with convincing evidence of these people being the part of groups of foreigners with criminal record, they have to be repatriated to the country of their origin. Inn particular in a disturbed state like J&K their presence along sensitive borders and with the criminal backlog is a strong argument on the basis of which they should be deported.


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