“Atithi devo bhava” is the cardinal principle of Indian culture but when it comes to national security, one should think twice before blindly welcoming the guests. Same is the case with Rohingya Muslims.
During my recent visit to Jammu, a friend of mine from Jammu who guided me through the hubs of Rohingyas, told me that earlier they were living in tin-roof shanties but now they are converting them into permanent brick houses. The bigger question is, “Who permitted Rohingyas Muslims to settle down in Jammu when Article 370 of Constitution of India doesn’t allow even an Indian citizen from other states to settle down in J&K.”
Why Article 370 not applicable on Rohingyas?
“If Article 370 doesn’t allow people who are not resident of this State to settle in Jammu, then why Rohingyas?” asked Ranjan Pandita. “Why we are allowing such people, whose own country disowned them, to settle down here? These people pose a threat to security as well as law & order. They are staying here illegally and have occupied Government land in Jammu”, he added. Their presence is a threat for the State is the overwhelming feeling among the residents of Jammu. Already having the sense of discrimination against the Muslim majority in Kashmir Valley, arrival of Rohingyas further creates a panic for the Hindu-majority region.
“Their agenda is to encroach the whole Jammu in small pockets. The presence of these Rohingyas in our State is a dangerous and fraught with risks — Sabzaar Auto-mechanic”
According to Jaibans Singh, an expert on Jammu & Kashmir, “At the time of Independence refugees from West Pakistan settled down in border areas of Jammu. They have, as yet, not been integrated into the State. Certain people from the Valmiki community who were brought to the state in Pre-Independence times are also not fully integrated into the fold of the State.”
“This is because, by law, people from outside are not given State Subject status in Jammu and Kashmir and continue to exist as refugees. They do not even have the right to vote in the State Legislative Assembly,” Singh emphasised.
He further said that Rohingyas taking refuge in the Jammu region amounts to opening of yet another can of worms in the already festering refugee problems that beset the State. When the State has no legal provision of integrating migrants it should not allow such refuge to take place; sanction even on humanitarian grounds would require amendment to the existing State law.
“When the State has no legal provision of integrating refugees it should not allow such migrations to take place. The Rohingya Muslims are not our problem”, said a local politician.
Rise in Crime and Involvement in Drug Trafficking
According to a senior police officer of Jammu, “In recent days the crime rate has gone high in Jammu and it is the Rohingyas directly or indirectly involved in the crimes. Even they are suspected to be involved in drug trafficking and thefts. There are some reports which say that terrorist organisations have made attempts to radicalise sections of the Rohingya youth. And if it happens then this is going to be a big threat for Jammu and Nation.”
Even the head of militant organisation formed by Rohingya by the name Huzi Arakan namely Abdul Qudus Burmi and other Rohingya militants were shown sharing dais with Hafiz Saeed in Karachi.
Local Support and Fake Documents
The larger threat is, even many of the illegal immigrants have acquired ration cards, voter cards, aadhar cards as well as permanent resident certificates illegally. It is alleged that some politicians along with some bureaucrats are helping these Rohingyas to get them settle down and help in getting vital documents. According to the sources, even some Rohingya and Bangladeshi Muslims are using forged documents to buy land and to get their children admitted in Government schools. There are reports that these refugees are helped by some NGOs with dubious credentials by providing them with the basic amenities and helping their children to get education in madrasas.
Many of the Rohingya Muslims have been settled in the hilly and forest areas across Jammu’s Tawi River. They have been residing over dozen localities in and around Jammu. Some of the prominent localities include Bhatindi, Narwal, Nagrota, and Belicharana.
“Their agenda is to encroach the whole Jammu in small pockets. Even Government did not pay any attention to redress the problem. Interestingly all the refugees are living on the outskirts of Jammu city. The presence of these Rohingyas in our State is a dangerous and fraught with risks,” said an auto-mechanic Sabzaar.
Bhatindi, turning into Mini Pakistan
It’s very risky to get a picture click here. Besides Rohingya Muslim houses, you will find houses of many J&K politician houses in this area. Surprisingly, all these houses are on forest land. It is alleged that terrorist training camp is also there in Bhatindi. So many Muslims of Srinagar have a house here. During the winters, they used to come and stay here.
According to a local, so much of government’s housing fund is being used in unauthorised colonies. A local lady shopkeeper in Bhatindi said that lots of things have changed in this region after 2010. The number of people from Muslim community is increasing day by day. Earlier there were hardly one or two masjids (Mosque) in this area, but now you will find more than 50 grand mosques in this area. Who is funding for these mosques? They are encroaching our lands.”
Agenda to disturb Peace of Jammu
A college boy Sohan Pandita raises eyebrows over Rohingyas settling down in Jammu and calls it as an agenda behind their migration. He said, “What is the need for Rohingyas to come to Jammu crossing all the states. They are brought down here to disturb the peace of Jammu. They are also receiving support from separatists and anti-India elements. They have spoiled Kashmir and now trying to disturb Jammu as well. We fear a breach of peace here in Jammu. ”
As the security threat is growing, there is a sincere expectation of the locals from the Government at the Centre.