*Law & order, border security reviewed
JAMMU, Mar 3: Acting tough, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today sought report from Jammu and Kashmir Government on illegal settlement of Rohingyas and Burmese in Jammu region, an issue which was being raised vociferously by some BJP leaders as well as Opposition parties as they felt that they could become security threat in the State and also lead to change of demographic character in the region.
Top official sources told the Excelsior that at a high level security review meeting at North Block in New Delhi today, Rajnath has sought a detailed report from Jammu and Kashmir Government, where BJP is partner with the PDP, on the number of Rohingyas and Burmese nationals settled in Jammu, the time period from which they were living here, reasons for their settlement and all other related issues.
The Union Home Minister, who was holding first high level review of security situation in Jammu and Kashmir after over a month due to his busy campaigning in Uttar Pradesh elections, was concerned over increase in number of illegal settlement of Rohingyas and Burmese nationals in Jammu region following an alarm raised by various political parties and social organizations especially Union Minister in Prime Minister’s Office and Lok Sabha member from Udhampur-Doda, Dr Jitendra Singh, who too had sought an in-depth probe into settlement of Rohingyas on outskirts of Jammu and need for effective steps by the Government to keep check on them.
Rajnath, who reviewed security situation in Jammu and Kashmir with National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval, Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi and Intelligence Bureau Director Rajiv Jain apart from other top officers of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) and Intelligence agencies, could act further after receiving detailed report from the State Government on settlement of foreigners in Jammu.
“There were very specific Intelligence inputs that Rohingyas and Burmese, settled on outskirts of Jammu, could become security risk as anti-national elements were out to exploit them,” sources said, adding that their activities have come under scanner of security and Intelligence agencies.
According to sources, the Union Home Minister has also sought from the State Government the steps being taken to check any further flow of Rohingyas in Jammu and to ensure that they don’t fall into the hands of militants and anti-national elements.
The settlement of Rohingyas in Jammu has become a major issue here with some political parties and social organizations demanding their ouster describing them as security threat.
Reacting to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s very tough stance on settlement of Rohingyas in Jammu, Dr Jitendra Singh told the Excelsior that an inquiry should be conducted as to which Government at the Centre and State facilitated their settlement in Jammu as United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) cards (for settlement of Rohingyas) can’t be issued without the consent of Centre and State Governments.
“At the time of settlement of Rohingyas in Jammu, it was UPA Government at the Centre and National Conference-Congress coalition Government at the State,” Dr Jitendra Singh pointed out and said the then Union Home Minister and Congress leader P Chidambaram owed a reply to the people of the State on facilitating settlement of Rohingyas in Jammu.
In response to BJP MLA Sat Sharma’s query in the Assembly, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti had disclosed that there are 5743 Burmese residing in the State, where they had entered on their own and are staying at various places in the districts of Jammu and Samba.
The Government had named a number of NGOs, which have been funding stay of Rohingyas in Jammu and Samba districts.
The Government reply had said apart from 5,700 Rohingya Muslims, 322 other foreigners are presently living in Jammu and Samba districts. The reply had also stated that 17 FIRs have been registered against 38 Rohingyas for various offences including those related to illegal border crossing, she added.
Meanwhile, Rajnath Singh today also reviewed law and order, militancy and border situation in Jammu and Kashmir with top brass of the Home Ministry at the security review meeting.
The meeting discuss in detail the steps required to prevent repeated of 2016 unrest in the Kashmir valley.
“The situation prevailing along Indo-Pak borders in Jammu region and recent infiltration attempts by the militants also came up for high-level review at the meeting,” sources said, adding that Rajnath Singh directed for maintaining strict vigil along the International Border to thwart infiltration attempts by the militants from Pakistan.