Illegal Immigrants In State Under Intel Surveillance

Illegal Immigrants In State Under Intel Surveillance

2 November 2013
The Tribune (Chandigarh)
Ravi Krishnan Khajuria

Jammu: Intelligence agencies have started keeping the floating population of Rohingya Muslims under a constant watch, seeing them as a potential threat to security in the militancy-plagued J&K. Nearly 2,000 Rohingya Muslims live in shanties in and around the capital city. “They are living in shanties close to railway tracks from Bari-Brahmana in Samba district to Gujjar Nagar in Jammu. Being illegal immigrants and penury-ridden, they do petty jobs. Their involvement in any subversive activity has not been established but the possibility cannot be ruled out,” said an Intelligence source. Rohingya Muslims have to be registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), but 400 such refugees here don’t exist in the records. An Army officer said since they came from countries like Bangladesh and Myanmar to settle in a militancy-hit state like J&K, they can be misused by terror outfits any time. On September 25 last year, a six-member team of the UNHCR from New Delhi had visited shanties of Rohingya Muslims at Narwal Bala in Jammu district. The UNHCR chief of mission to India, Montserrat Vihe, had asked unregistered refugees to get registered with the UNHCR. The team had also asked them to stay away from illegal activities. A BSF officer said some of the refugees in the past had tried to ex-filtrate to Pakistan via the international border in search of greener pastures. “After we caught them and handed them over to the local police, the latter set them free without taking strict action under law,” he added. A police officer, however, cited lack of infrastructure for not taking action against such refugees. “We don’t have enough lock-ups to keep them. We board them on the Punjab-bound trains, warning them not to return,” he said. The officer said the problem lay in the “porous” border with Bangladesh, which has not been heavily guarded. An officer of the Intelligence Bureau said the agency had been repeatedly expressing its concern over the presence of these illegal immigrants in the state. “They can be used as couriers by terror outfits any time”, he said. He described this floating population as a ‘ticking time bomb’ that may take a heavy toll if not defused in time. Threat to security Nearly 2,000 Rohingya Muslims live in shanties in and around Jammu city Intelligence agencies fear that since these refugees come from countries like Bangladesh and Myanmar, they can be misused by terror outfits in the militancy-plagued J&K In search of greener pastures, some of the refugees in the past have tried to ex-filtrate to Pakistan via the international border