Accommodation of the Rohingyas in India fail to consider the burden they are bound to put on India’s strained national resources
On April 20, Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) unit of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) demanded the deportation of illegal Rohingya and Bangladeshi immigrants from Jammu province. The demand was made by the former Speaker of J&K Legislative Assembly and Deputy Chief Minister Kavinder Gupta. In support of the demand seeking their deportation at the earliest, the BJP gave five immediate reasons.
One: The settlement of Rohingyas and Bangladeshis in Jammu province was a “politically-backed conspiracy” hatched to “trigger Hindu migration.”
Two: Their settlement in Jammu province was “a well-funded conspiracy.”
Three: Their settlement poses a “threat to Jammu demographics and security”.
Four: “These people are most vulnerable to the spread of Coronavirus as many of these Rohingyas are associated with the Rehri and hawking business”. “As Rohingyas and Bangladeshis are mainly associated with the Rehri and hawking business, there is every likelihood that they can spread the virus to the localities they visit to sell their products. Such persons need to be identified who are selling eatables to the residents boosting a chance of spread of the virus,” the BJP said.
Five: Their settlement would create an Assam-like situation in Jammu province”. “Groups advocating accommodation of the Rohingyas in India fail to consider the burden they are bound to put on India’s strained national resources, including the overall socio-economic indicators such as public health, employment, crime, rehabilitation of internally displaced, etc. J&K should learn lessons from illegal migration into Assam from Bangladesh. The influx of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants into Assam is posing a serious security threat to the Assamese identity. It has adversely affected the social, economic, and political environment of the State and created law and order problems, particularly in areas where immigrants are present in large numbers,” the former J&K Deputy Chief Minister said.
There are more than 13000 Rohingya families living in Jammu City and around and Samba district. Many have obtained Aadhaar Cards, Voter ID Cards, Ration Cards, and water and electric connections.
Not just this, the BJP also drew the attention to the fact that the Rohingyas had refused to leave Jammu in November 2017 turning down the suggestion of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) promising funds to settle them elsewhere. “In November 2017, the UNHCR visited at least five Rohingya habitations in Jammu and asked them to leave, promising funds to settle them elsewhere. They refused, saying they won’t leave as they are used to Jammu and know everyone over here. That, in a nutshell, sums up their comfort levels in Hindu-majority Jammu, as opposed to living with their co-religionists elsewhere,” the BJP, in fact, said.
The BJP did exceedingly well to demand deportation of these illegal aliens from Jammu province. However, the question to be asked to the BJP is: Why did not the BJP throw out these illegal aliens from Jammu province when it was in power between 2015 and 2018? These Rohingyas and Bangladeshis were not settled in Jammu City, Samba district, and elsewhere in the province after January 2020. They were settled at strategic locations in and around Jammu City way back in 2008, and even earlier, and that, too, in the areas represented in the Assembly and the Lok Sabha by the BJP.
It is too well-known that a BJP-headed Cabinet Sub-Committee had been constituted during the Mehbooba Mufti regime to identify these illegal immigrants and suggest ways that could be used to deport them. But this Cabinet Sub-Committee did nothing whatsoever. It met only once and slept over the issue of great national import. And the memory of what Mehbooba Mufti as Chief Minister said on the floor of the assembly in 2017 in this regard is too fresh to be forgotten. She had said: “It would not be appropriate to deport the Rohingyas.” She made this statement in the presence of the BJP ministers, who remained mum for reasons best known to them.
The fact of the matter is that the National Conference (NC) Government; the NC and Congress coalition Government; the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Congress, the Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP) and Peoples Democratic Forum (PDF) coalition Government; the Congress, the PDP, the PDF and JKNPP coalition Government: and the PDP and the BJP coalition government all played a negative role and allowed these illegal aliens to not only change the demography of the province but also to indulge in all kinds of nefarious activities. So much so, the powers-that-be in the state created a situation under which 80% of students in the Government Middle School at Kirayani Talab in the Jammu’s Narwal Bala area were Rohingya. And it was none other than a former BJP MLC made this revelation. Not just this, they could set up Burmese Market in the Sunjuwan area.
There are more than 13000 Rohingya families living in Jammu City and around and Samba district. According to one estimate, their number could be over one lakh. Many have obtained Aadhaar Cards, Voter ID Cards, Ration Cards, and water and electric connections. There are also reports that some of the Rohingyas have also constructed houses in Jammu. The most notable point is that some of the Rohingyas have been settled near vital army installations, including Nagrota Army Camp, Sunjuwan Army Camp, and Kalu Chak Army Camp, and along the sensitive and strategic National Highway. It must remain a matter of grave concern that the powers-that-be in the state and many vested interests extended these illegal aliens overt and covert support and the result is that they have today become a live threat to national security and a grave threat to the Jammu’s demographics. Their credentials are doubtful. They have, according to reports, links with terror outfits. That these Rohingyas are dangerous could be seen from the fact that Muslim Bangladesh’s Muslim Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has on occasions more than once said that she wanted their deportation as they posed a “threat to regional security and the country’s environment.” Only on April 24, the Bangladesh Government imposed a ban on the Rohingyas’ entry. Earlier, another Muslim country, Malaysia, imposed a similar ban.
It is hoped the Narendra Modi Government would consider the demand as raised by the J&K BJP and deport the Rohingyas not only from Jammu but also from other parts of the country. Their deportation has become all the more imperative given the fact that they have links with the Tablighi Jamaat. Only the other day, almost 2 dozens Rohingyas were booked in Jammu as they didn’t reveal that they had attended the Tablighi congregation at Delhi’s Nizamuddin last month. Indeed, it’s time for an executive intervention.
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.