21 arrested in police action against illegal migrants in Jammu

Thousands of Rohingyas entered India illegally through Bangladesh and took shelter in Jammu and other parts of the country following persecution in Myanmar.

Jammu: Twenty-one people, seven of them married couples, were arrested and many others booked on Tuesday in a major police action against those harbouring Rohingya migrants or facilitating their stay with illegal papers in Jammu, an officer said.

The arrests were made from Kishtwar, Ramban, Poonch and Rajouri districts, while 10 Rohingya and Bangladeshi nationals were booked in Doda, the officer said.

Seven FIRs were registered at different police stations in Jammu where the police parties swooped on the Rohingya slums at over two dozen places and carried out house-to-house searches.

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“Some locals have provided their plots of land to settle the outside immigrants. We are checking and identifying these facilitators, who are also availing the government benefits for them,” Deputy Inspector General (DIG), Jammu-Samba-Kathua range, Shakti Pathak, told reporters outside a Rohingya settlement here.

Pathak, who was supervising the crackdown, said some 30 locations under seven police stations were searched in the Jammu city.

Earlier, a police spokesperson said that seven FIRs were lodged at Satwari, Trikuta Nagar, Bagh-e-Bahu, Channi Himmat, Nowabad, Domana and Nagrota police stations against people accused of providing shelter to the foreign immigrants.

During these searches, which were conducted in the presence of the magistrates, police seized illegally acquired Indian documents like PAN and Aadhaar cards and bank documents.

“Investigation into the matter has started and other details will be shared subsequently. Stringent action in the future shall be taken against all such defaulters,” the spokesperson said.

Six men and their Rohingya wives were among 13 persons arrested from Kishtwar’s Dachhan area.

“The arrests were carried out on the basis of credible evidence, and the individuals are being investigated for their alleged involvement in activities contrary to law and public order,” the official said.

Four persons — Gulzar Ahmad Bhat and his Rohingya wife Rafiqa Begum, Manzoor Ahmad and Dilara Begum, who had also married a local — were booked at Dharamkund Police Station in Ramban district and arrested.

Foreigners and their facilitators were booked under charges of illegally procuring Indian documents like domicile certificates, Aadhaar cards, ration cards, voter ID cards and PAN cards for stay in Ramban, police said.

Three persons, identified as Nazir Ahmad Gujjar, Mohd Sayaf, and Waseem Akram, were arrested for helping a Rohingya at Dhargloon village of Poonch district with a fake Aadhaar card and ration card.

Gujjar, who had married off his daughter, Farzana Kosser, to Mohd Numaan, a Rohingya Muslim, in 2016, had managed fake a Aadhaar card and ration card for his son-in-law, police said.

Numaan, who was arrested on November 30, is presently in judicial custody, they said.

The spokesperson said that another facilitator, Lal Din, was arrested from his Laam-Nowshera residence in Rajouri district following an investigation of a case registered in October after the arrest of a Myanmar woman named Haleema, who is currently out on bail.

The spokesperson said the police have registered three FIRs in Doda district against 10 foreign immigrants, mainly Rohingyas and Bangladeshi nationals, and their facilitators, for illegally procuring Indian identity papers.

Two of these cases were registered at the Bhaderwah Police Station, while another case was lodged at the Gandoh Police Station, he said.

He said an investigation in all three cases has been launched to ascertain the immigrants’ facilitators, as well as the government employees involved in the facilitation of the Indian papers for them.

Thousands of Rohingyas entered India illegally through Bangladesh and took shelter in Jammu and other parts of the country following persecution in Myanmar.

According to government data, more than 13,700 foreigners, most of them Rohingya Muslims and Bangladeshi nationals, are settled in Jammu and other districts of Jammu and Kashmir, where their population increased by over 6,000 between 2008 and 2016.

In March 2021, police found over 250 Rohingyas, including women and children, living illegally in Jammu city during a verification drive and lodged them in a holding centre inside the Kathua Sub-Jail.

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