SRINAGAR: In its affidavit to the Supreme Court on the Rohingya issue, the union government claimed to have intelligence inputs that the refugees from Myanmar are a threat to national security. However, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the BJP’s ally in the coalition ruling Jammu & Kashmir, says there are no such inputs.
Some 5,700 Rohingya Muslims live in Jammu & Kashmir at present, most of them in camps in Jammu and Samba districts in Jammu province while at least 17 families live on the outskirts of Srinagar.
The PDP and BJP have divergent views on deportation of the Rohingyas with the former insisting that nothing adverse has been found against the refugees. “Chief minister (Mehbooba Mufti) has already made it clear there are no adverse reports from any intelligence agency against the Rohingya Muslim refugees living in J&K,” PDP chief spokesman Mehboob Beg told New Indian Express.
Asked whether this represents the government’s views on the issue, Mehboob Beg said, “When the CM says something, it definitely is the J&K government’s stand. Her remarks are the last word and it represents the government’s point of view.”
According to the state government, no Rohingya Muslim has been founded involved in militancy related incidents in the State.
However, the BJP wants immediate deportation of the Rohingyas from the state. “Our party’s view is very clear. We are against the continued stay of Rohingya refugees in J&K and in the country. We want their immediate deportation,” BJP chief spokesman Sunil Sethi told New Indian Express.
He said the Rohingyas’ stay in J&K is a breach of the Foreigners Act. “If a person comes to India without valid travel documents and stays here, he/she is committing an offence as India is not a signatory to any treaty on refugees.”
Sethi insisted that “we have adverse reports against the Rohingyas and Union Home Ministry has also said it.”
Asked about Mehbooba Mufti’s stance that there have been no adverse reports against the Rohingyas in J&K, Sethis said, “The country’s home minister is a better informed person. When HM gives a statement that there are indications of their involvement in terror activity, we can’t brush it aside.”
He added, “If Rohingyas were Hindus, we would still be opposed to their stay in India.”