28 July 2017

News Report: Indian MPs Worried About Rohingya Refugees in Kashmir

A member of the upper house of the Indian Parliament has raised security concerns over the settlement of Rohingya Muslims in and around Jammu and Ladakh regions of the Indian side of Kashmir.

New Delhi (Sputnik) — Swapan Dasgupta, a veteran journalist and nominated member of Rajya Sabha, raised the issue during the Zero Hour.

"It is curious and somewhat inexplicable as to why there should be so many Rohingyas who have migrated to Jammu and Ladakh," Dasgupta asked. He also cited anomalies over data pertaining to the number of Rohingyas living in India.

The Jammu and Kashmir government data says there are approximately 5,700 Rohingyas in Jammu and 7,664 Rohingyas in Ladakh. The UN High Commission for Refugees, however, states there are 14,000 Rohingyas in the whole of India, while the Home Ministry estimates it at 40,000.

"Now to my mind…this is very, very suspicious. The suspicion arises not for humanitarian reasons or anything like that, but because of what the Bangladesh government has reported that there are at least three terrorist organizations among the Rohingyas," Dasgupta said.

The member also said that there has been evidence of Rohingya involvement in the blast in Bodh Gaya. More recently, in October 2016, one of the two militants killed in an encounter in Jammu and Kashmir, turned out to be from Myanmar.

He said Rohingya refugees have been "flaunting" Indian government-provided identity cards and urged the government to consider it urgently.

The Jammu and Kashmir state is currently ruled by the BJP-PDP alliance government, which reportedly conducted a review meeting in May 2017 on the arrival of Rohingyas in the sensitive state.

"It is a big conspiracy and the state government is responsible for this. More than 23,000 Rohingya Muslims have taken shelter in Jammu. Everybody in Jammu, be it Hindu or Muslim, is worried. A state-level delegation recently met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and expressed their concerns about the Rohingyas but didn't get any concrete assurance," Bhim Singh, the chief patron of the Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers' Party and former lawmaker, told Sputnik.

In fact, security agencies also see Rohingya Muslims as a security threat as Jammu region is close to the Pakistan border.

Rohingyas, who mainly live in Myanmar's Rakhine province, are fleeing their homeland due to persecution. About three to four million of them have fled to Bangladesh, India, Saudi Arabia

This story first appeared on Sputnik & is reposted here with permission.