Many Rohingyas go missing, numbers down in 5 years

Rohingyas start march to Myanmar from Narwal only to return after some time on Sunday. -Excelsior/Rakesh
Rohingyas start march to Myanmar from Narwal only to return after some time on Sunday. -Excelsior/Rakesh

Govt may add two more ‘Holding Centers’ if detainees increase

Over 500 start march to Myanmar, return later

Sanjeev Pargal

JAMMU, Mar 7: The Myanmar, which is presently being ruled by military junta after toppling democratically elected Aung San Suu Kyi Government, is reportedly not ready to accept Rohingyas back even as reports here suggest that number of foreign nationals have gone missing during their registration which started at MA Stadium yesterday.
After declaration of Hiranagar Jail in Kathua district as ‘Holding Centre’ for Rohingyas where 155 illegal immigrants were lodged yesterday, a couple of more ‘Holding Centers’ could be declared in Samba and Kathua districts if number of detainees increases.

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Sources told the Excelsior that the Myanmar Government including the previously democratic elected and the present military regime are reluctant to take back Rohingyas who had fled the country in the past and settled at various places including Jammu and Kashmir, Telangana, Haryana among others.
“However, the Ministry of External Affairs has decided to take up the issue of deportation of Rohingyas again with the Myanmar Government shortly,” sources said, adding the issue will be taken up once exact number of the immigrants putting up in the country is ascertained and their other details including areas in Rakhine province of Myanmar from where they belonged and year of migration are gathered.
All these details, according to sources, are being ascertained by the police and Intelligence agencies.
Meanwhile, around 500 Rohingyas putting up at Karyani Talab in Narwal under the jurisdiction of Trikuta Nagar police station this morning packed their baggage and started march towards Myanmar saying their fate is same here which was at Rakhine and it is better for them to go to their country.
However, after travelling three to four kilometers on the National Highway, they returned to their habitations.
Confirming that number of Rohingya nationals has come down from the data compiled earlier, sources said some of them have left for Uttar Pradesh, Assam and West Bengal and might have mixed up with local population there. Few others have married their daughters with local population in Kashmir, Banihal and other such areas. Even within the Union Territory, some of the Rohingyas have isolated themselves and were working in shops and business establishments to avoid deportation as they had started fearing that they could be sent back to their country by the BJP Government.
“It wasn’t possible to keep daily track on Rohingyas settled here. Taking advantage of the situation, they continued to move to other places. The exit had virtually started in 2014 after the BJP Government took over at the Centre making it clear that Rohingyas will be deported to their country,” sources said, adding since the illegal immigrants were reluctant to return some of them left for Assam, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh and reportedly mixed up with local population.
There were reports that the Government could set, up two more `Holding Centers’ preferably in Samba and Kathua districts for keeping the Rohingyas if the number of those detained swells.
Presently, the Home department has declared erstwhile Hiranagar Jail in Kathua district as `Holding Centre’ where 155 Rohingyas were lodged yesterday after completion of verification.
However, four-five families were putting up at MA Stadium for registration, sources said.
They added that the Union Ministry of Home Affairs initiated the long pending exercise for deportation of Rohingyas from Jammu and Kashmir to Myanmar as it was election promise of the Bharatiya Janata Party and demand of several other political parties and organizations in the Jammu region on the ground that they had been settled to alter demographic setup of Jammu by the then PDP-Congress and National Conference-Congress Governments from 2002 to 2014.
Ever since, the BJP stormed to power in 2014 and retained it in 2019, the Central Government had made it categorically clear that all Rohingyas and Bangladeshi nationals illegally putting up in Jammu and Kashmir will be deported to their countries. A comprehensive survey of their numbers followed by security audit was conducted by security agencies of the Jammu and Kashmir Government.
Most of the Rohingyas are settled in Jammu and Samba districts and came to the erstwhile State over the years after entering India illegally through either Indo-Bangladesh border or Indo-Myanmar border. The agents used to help them cross the borders and drop them right up to Jammu in trains charging specific amount from them.
Previous PDP-Congress and National Conference-Congress Governments from 2002-2014 under whose regimes majority of Rohingyas were settled in Jammu and Samba took no initiatives ever to deport them but rather ensured that they get all facilities in their localities.