Police Evicting Rohingya Refugees: Geelani

Srinagar – Expressing deep concern at the police warnings to refugee Rohingya Muslims in Jammu to vacate their dwellings, the chairman of the Hurriyat (G), Syed Ali Shah Geelani, on Tuesday asked the state administration to explain why these oppressed people were being harassed.

“This misadventure has been initiated by communal elements in the state police on their own as it bears the stamp of their diseased mentality,” Geelani said in a statement today.

“Since these elements want to turn the Jammu region particularly into a Hindutva laboratory, they cannot tolerate the presence of Muslims living there,” he said.

“Thousands of Rohingya Muslims have been living for years in shanties on the outskirts of Jammu, earning a living as ordinary labourers. They have built their dwellings on private land and regularly pay rent to the owners,” he said.

“A majority of them either works as safai karamcharis, or porters at the railway station,” he said.

“Instead of begging, these people work hard to feed their families,” he said.

Geelani said that the police statement about the Rohingyas having been asked to vacate the premises because of being under threat from militants was false and absurd.

Geelani also targeted the superintendent of police for Jammu East for saying that he was not bothered about where the Rohingyas went as he had been ordered to evict them from the area.

“Even if the government wants to displace the poor Muslims for some reason, it still has a responsibility to resettle them somewhere else,” he said.

Geelani appealed to the Muslims of Jammu to render all possible assistance to the Rohingyas in their time of trouble, and see whether the police was evicting them of its own or had received orders from higher-ups.

“All Muslims of the world are a single entity. If any part of it is in suffering, the entire body feels the pain. We cannot remain silent on the atrocities on our brothers,” he said. (Observer News Service

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