Govt Shifts 155 Rohingyas To ‘Holding Centre’ In Jammu

Rohingya at a refugee camp on the outskirts of Jammu in 2017. Photo credit: Reuters

Drive Launched To Collect Biometric, Other Details

Jammu: The Jammu and Kashmir government on Saturday shifted at least 155 Rohingyas to a ‘holding centre’ in Jammu and launched a drive to collect the biometric and other details of the persecuted community.

At least 155 illegal immigrant Rohingyas who escaped persecution in Myanmar and were living in Jammu and Kashmir were on Saturday sent to a ‘holding centre’, under section 3(2)e of the Foreigners Act, New Delhi based CNN-News18 reported.

Quoting unnamed officials, the report said that the immigrants were not holding valid travel documents required under section (3) of the Passports Act.

Meanwhile, the J&K administration on Saturday began a drive to collect biometric and other details of Rohingyas staying in Jammu, officials said.

The Rohingyas are a Bengali-dialect speaking Muslim minority in Myanmar. Following persecution in their country, many of them entered India illegally through Bangladesh and took shelter in Jammu and other parts of India.

The verification process of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar was carried out at the MAM Stadium here amid high security, they said.

Under the drive, their biometric and other details, such as place of stay, were collected, the officials said.

“We filled up forms after conducting COVID-19 test. Our fingerprints were taken,” Abdul Hanan, a Myanmar national, told reporters here.

He said after the screening process he left the stadium.

Certain political parties and social organisations, had urged the Centre to take immediate steps for the deportation of Rohingyas and Bangladeshis alleging that their presence is a “conspiracy to alter the demographic character” of the region and “a threat to the peace in the region”.

More than 13,700 foreigners, including Rohingya Muslims and Bangladeshi nationals, are settled in Jammu and Samba districts, where their population has increased by over 6,000 between 2008 and 2016, according to government data. (With PTI inputs)

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