Confine Rohingyas at one place pending deportation: Rajnath

BSF, AR asked to curb fresh infiltration

Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, July 31: Issue of illegal settlement of Rohingyas in Jammu and Kashmir and other parts of the country rocked Question Hour in the Lok Sabha today prompting Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to reiterate that the MHA has issued advisory to the States and that their deportation to Myanmar will be taken up by the Ministry of External Affairs.
Some Lok Sabha members also joined the issue and BJP MP from Jammu-Poonch Lok Sabha seat, Jugal Sharma charged that the militants, who had carried out fidayeen attack on Sunjuwan Military Station in Jammu had taken shelter at the camps of Rohingyas.
Rajnath said the State Government have been asked to confine Rohingyas at one place and ensure that they don’t spread to entire State and, in the meantime, carry out enumeration of such people  and collect their biometric details.
He said the Border Security Force (BSF) and Assam Rifles guarding the International Border have been sensitized to ensure that more Rohingyas don’t manage to infiltrate into the country.
“A latest Advisory has been sent to the States asking them to confine Rohingyas in one place and keep them under watch,” the Home Minister said, adding that though States have a right under the Foreigners Act to deport illegal migrants, State Governments have been asked to collect details about Rohingyas and share it with the Home Ministry.
The Home Ministry would then urge the Ministry of External Affairs to take up their deportation with Myanmar.
Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said some of the Rohingya migrants living in India have been involved in illegal activities and made it clear that Rohingyas do not have the status of “refugee” but are “illegal migrants”.
Responding to a series of supplementaries during Question Hour in Lok Sabha, Rijiju said the Government has reports that some of the Rohingyas have been involved in illegal activities but he would refrain from getting into details.
He said since they are illegal migrants, they are not entitled to any Government facility.
The Minister said priority of the Government is to take care of rights of Indian citizens.
He said though they have not been given legal documents like ration cards, if they have acquired such facilities, it must have been done through illegal means.
The States, he said, have to ensure that such illegal migrants do not get legal documents so that they do not stake claim to citizenship at a later date.
BJP MP from Jammu-Poonch Lok Sabha seat, Jugal Kishore Sharma, raising a supplementary, said Rohingyas have settled illegally in Jammu and there were reports that they had sheltered the militants, who had carried out fidayeen attack at Sunjuwan Military Station in Jammu in February this year.
Jugal called upon the Members of Parliament supporting Rohingyas to visit Jammu and Kashmir and see for themselves what sorts of problems they have been creating in Jammu.
He said that the number of Rohingyas in Jammu was near about 18000 to 30000 and it is the matter of concern as they can be a security risk.
Jugal Kishore satirizing the opposition favouring Rohingyas, said that Rohingyas were found involved in disturbing activities and their increasing population in Jammu and Kashmir may lead to some great catastrophe in future. He urged Centre Government to take necessary steps to deport Rohingyas from Jammu and Kashmir.
Saugata Bose (TMC) said India has a history of sheltering refugees and the Government must do the same with the Rohingyas.
Rijiju hit back, saying he was saddened by the stand of Bose.
He said though India is not a signatory to the UN Convention on Refugees, it has been “soft” on such migrants. He said there is a need to have a system to check such migrants in the interest of the country and Indian citizens.
He said India has set up facilities for Rohingyas in Rakhine State in Myanmar and its track record on humanitarian assistance should not be questioned.
Rijiju also said that the maximum number of Rohingyas are in Jammu and Kashmir. They are also in Hyderabad, Haryana, Rajasthan and Delhi.