SRINAGAR: The issue of Rohingya Muslim refugees and West Pakistan Refugees is turning into a Jammu versus Kashmir after Jammu traders threatened to identify, catch and kill Rohingya refugees living in the winter capital of the State and Kashmir traders demanding that the same should be applied to West Pakistan Refugees, who are living in the State since 1947 but are not State subjects.
Jammu Chamber president Rakesh Gupta while addressing a press conference in Jammu on Friday demanded deportation of Rohingya and Bangladeshi Muslim refugees.
He alleged that these refugees are criminals and drug traffickers, who have been disowned by their own country.
“The State government and Central government should deport these people within a month. The people on whose land these foreigners have settled should be booked under PSA,” Gupta said.
He warned that if government fails to deport them, then Jammu Chamber will launch “Identify, catch and Kill Movement” against these refugees.
At least 5,743 Burmese nationals (Rohingya Muslims) are living in the State at present, J&K government recently announced.
"No Rohingyas has been found involved in militancy- related incidents. 17 FIRs have been registered against 38 Rohingyas for various offences, including those relating to illegal border crossings," the government has disclosed.
The Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) strongly reacted to Gupta’s statement terming his statement as uncalled for, irresponsible and divisive.
KCCI Secretary General Faiz Ahmad Bakshi said the same yardstick should be applicable to West Pakistan Refugees, who are living in the State since 1947 but are not state subjects.
“Instead of involving itself in activities beneficial for trade and commerce, Jammu Chamber has taken upon itself the role of vigilantalism,” he said and asked Jammu Chamber to immediately withdraw the statement otherwise be ready to face consequences.
Another Kashmir-based trade organisation, Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA) chairman Muhammad Yasin Khan said if Jammu traders feel unsafe due to Rohingya and Bangladeshi Muslims why were they silent over the issue of West Pakistan refugees.
“Why is Jammu Chamber resorting to discrimination or is it simply part of the conspiracy to eliminate Muslims from the map of J&K as happened in 1947,” he said.
Khan asked Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who is also Home Minister, to get an FIR registered against Jammu chamber for the statement with murderous intentions.
Meanwhile, MLA Langate Engineer Sheikh Abdur Rashid’s party Awami Itihaad Party (AIP) on Saturday registered a complaint in Rajbagh Police Station, Srinagar seeking the lodging of an FIR against office bearers of Jammu Chamber for their threat to kill Rohingya Muslims.
Reaction to the hue and cry over their statement, Jammu Chamber secretary General Manish Gupta said the issue of settlement of Rohingya and Bangladeshi Muslims is not a trivial issue but a great and planned security threat to internal security not only to J&K but to India.
“These people have crossed over into our borders illegally and should have been dealt with according to the provisions available under law, which did not happen,” he said.
Gupta said if these refugees are not pushed back, it would result in rioting, which may lead to loss of precious lives.
“As per Article 370, they cannot be allowed to stay as refugees in J&K,” he said.
Without referring to West Pakistan refugees, Gupta said getting Rohingyas and Bangladeshis settled in Jammu is a matter of concern and the hidden agenda of unseen forces, whose motive is to create a law and order situation.