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Friday, 03 December 2021 7.20 AM IST

155 Rohingyas sent to 'holding centre' in Jammu as police begins verification

rohingya-

NEW DELHI: At least 155 illegal Rohingya immigrants who escaped persecution in Myanmar and were living in Jammu and Kashmir were sent to a "holding centre" on Saturday. The immigrants were not holding valid travel documents required under Section (3) of the Passports Act, PTI reported.

On Saturday, the Jammu police brought hundreds of Rohingyas from their colonies in Jammu to the city's Maulana Azad Stadium. The media was barred from entering the stadium.

Rohingyas said their documents were checked and their details were also sought. "Our documents were checked. I also filled up a form where I had to write my details," said a Rohingya after coming out of the stadium.

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, reported news agency PTI.

155 Rohingyas sent to 'holding centre.'

Later in the evening, 155 Rohingyas who couldn't present valid documents during the verification were sent to Sub-Jail Hiranagar in Kathua district, which has been turned into a "holding centre" for the Rohingyas.

Sources said this was the first step for the deportation of these 155 Rohingyas. The verification process is likely to continue in the coming days.

Meanwhile, BJP and the civil society groups in Jammu welcomed the police action against Rohingyas.

"The process of deportation of Rohingyas has begun. It was a long pending demand of the people of Jammu that Rohingyas must be deported. Today, Jammu police conducted verification of the Rohingyas at MA stadium. And 155 of them are going to be sent to holding centre in Kathua," said Brig (Retd) Anil Gupta, J&K BJP spokesperson & Defence Expert.

"I welcome the action that has been taken by the J&K Police against the Rohingyas. I'm glad that finally Rohingyas who are living illegally in Jammu are being identified and sent to the holding centre. But the action shouldn't be limited to just 155 Rohingyas. There are thousands of Rohingyas living illegally in Jammu," Ankur Sharma, chairman of Ikkjutt Jammu and a high court lawyer told India Today.

In 2017, then J&K chief minister Mehbooba Mufti had said that 5,700 Rohingyas and 322 other foreign nationals were living in J&K. While giving a written reply in the legislative assembly, Mehbooba Mufti had also said that Rohingyas were living in two districts, Jammu and Samba, and they had come on their own to J&K.

More than 13,700 foreigners, including Rohingyas 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, reported PTI.

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TAGS: ROHINGYAS, INDIA, MYANMAR, 155 ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS, JAMMU AND KASHMIR, HOLDING CENTRE, SATURDAY, TRAVEL DOCUMENTS, MAULANA AZAD STADIUM, MUSLIM MINORITY, BANGLADESH
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