The Rohingya intruders are settled at as many as 39 locations, mostly in Jammu and Samba. Their number is increasing by the day. According to one estimate, “20 to 25 Rohingyas are coming to Jammu by trains and buses and they are being absorbed in the localities where Rohingyas have been putting up for more that a decade now”. Eyewitnesses say that “the Rohingyas are basically concentrated in the Narwal area, Bathindi, Sunjuwan, near Jammu railway station and Jammu high hills across River Tawi” and “also within the Jammu city’s such localities as Talab Tillo, Rehari, Trikuta Nagar and Chinor”. Sources in the Jammu Municipal Corporation say that “contractors are engaging Rohingyas as they accept lower wages”.
The number of Rohingyas is increasing in Jammu by the day. According to official estimate, the number of Rohingyas living in Jammu is around 13,000. But unofficial figures range between “70,000 and one lakh”. Concerned officials in the revenue and police departments allege that the “various state government agencies have deliberately underreported their presence in the state as they have been rehabilitated with the tacit understanding of powers be at the helm of affairs in the last one decade. In other words, they are alleging that there are elements in the political establishment in the state and certain elements in certain political parties who are behind the settlement of Rohingyas at some sensitive places in Jammu, including Army camps at Sunjuwan and Nagrota.
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Local police authorities are also on their trail and documenting their credentials to prepare a fresh database on the directions of the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. To prevent any fresh flare-up these Rohingyas are also exploring the option of returning home to start their lives afresh. “We are scared. We cannot face more torture. We are ready to go home or to any other third country which is willing to rehabilitate us”. What has added to their fear is the recent deportation of seven Rohingyas from Assam to Myanmar.
Leaders of these Rohingya have made an appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to “organize their safe return to their homeland in Myanmar”. One of the senior Myanmar national Kifayat Ullah has said: “We came here as guests. We cannot stay permanently at any place. We too wish to return home. We are only looking for our safety and want that all our fundamental rights should be restored. We appeal to the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi to approach his counterparts in Myanmar and facilitate our return journey. We would not take much time to return home if our basic rights are restored and safety is guaranteed”.
Another Rohingya leader Gafoor has said: “Now we expect the Government of India to get in touch with the Government in Myanmar and negotiate on our behalf so that we can return home and all our basic rights are restored”.
One thing appears abundantly clear: The Rohingyas will have to quit Jammu sooner than later as the Narendra Modi Government is under tremendous pressure to deport them in the “national interests” and in the interest of national security”.