Govt initiates high-level probe into settlement of Rohingyas

JAMMU, Mar 7: Authorities have initiated a high-level probe into the influx of Rohingyas and Burmese nationals in Jammu and Samba districts of this region with top officers of civil and police administration preparing data base of the foreign nationals and looking into permission granted to them for stay here. The probe would also cover various aspects of the arrival and settlement of Rohingyas here.

The probe comes just few days after Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh sought detailed report from the State Government on settlement of Rohingyas in Jammu, who, the Home Ministry believed, could become “potential security threat’’ if corrective measures were not taken well in time.

Central delegation to review threat perception

A high level Central delegation from the Union Home Ministry is being deputed to Jammu to have in-depth study of ramifications of prolonged stay of Rohingyas and other foreign nationals in Jammu and suggest steps that could be taken to ensure that peace is not disturbed in the region in the wake of several political parties and social organization openly demanding their deportation.

Official sources told the Excelsior that the civil and police administration of the State Government have launched a detailed probe into the arrival of Rohingyas in Jammu and Samba districts including the time period over which they came followed by their settlement and above all, the permission granted to them to stay here after which the then administration provided basic facilities to them.

“A comprehensive data base is being prepared of Rohingyas, Burmese and other foreign nationals, settled mostly in Jammu and Samba districts of this region. The data base will include total number of foreign nationals, their identity, nationality, time of settlement, possession of United National Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) cards, time of issuance of cards etc,’’ sources said.

Asserting that majority Rohingyas, settled here, possessed UNHRC cards, sources said it was being ascertained as to whose direction these cards were issued.

However, preliminary investigations by the administration have revealed that it was during the tenure of UPA-II at the Centre when P Chidambaram was the Union Home Minister and it was National Conference-Congress coalition Government in the State when UNHCR cards were issued to Rohingyas for their settlement in Jammu and Samba districts. But, the sources pointed out that number of Rohingyas has swelled during the course of time and efforts were on to find out whether all of them had duly come after issuance of UNHCR cards or settled here illegally after crossing the border.

“The data base would cover number of Rohingyas, who were with or without UNHCR cards,’’ sources pointed out. There had been reports with the Intelligence agencies that some of the foreign nationals could be living here even without the UNHCR cards.

Meanwhile, the Union Home Ministry is in the process of deputing a high-level Central delegation to Jammu to study the situation arising out of settlement of Rohingyas and other foreign nationals in Jammu. The delegation will also review general law and order situation in the State.

The delegation will inter-act with officers of civil and police administration and Intelligence agencies and ascertain their views on ways and means to tackle the menace of Rohingyas and other foreign nationals settled in Jammu especially in the wake of strong opposition to their settlement here by some political parties and social organizations.