In Jammu and Kashmir, PDP, BJP have divergent views on Rohingya deportation

PDP favours their stay saying nothing adverse has been found against them, while the saffron party advocates their deportation.

Published: 20th September 2017 08:20 PM  |   Last Updated: 20th September 2017 08:20 PM   |  A+A-

A Rohingya Muslim woman, who crossed over from Myanmar into Bangladesh, stands with her son outside her shelter in Kutupalong refugee camp, Bangladesh, Monday, Sept. 18, 2017. | AP

Express News Service

SRINAGAR: The PDP-BJP coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir have divergent views on deportation of Rohingya Muslim refugees living in the State with PDP favouring their stay saying nothing adverse has been found against them while the saffron party advocates their deportation.

“We favour Rohingya Muslims stay in the State as Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has already made it clear that there is no adverse report from any intelligence agency against the Rohingya Muslim refugees living in J&K,” PDP chief spokesman Mehboob Beg told New Indian Express.

As per J&K government, atleast  5,743 Rohingya Muslims are living in the State at present.

Most of the Rohingya Muslim refugees have been staying in districts of Jammu and Samba in Jammu province while at least 17 families are living in outskirts of Srinagar, the summer capital of the State.

 The PDP chief spokesman said CM’s word is the last word and she has clearly stated there are no adverse remarks against Rohingya Muslims living in the State.

Asked whether it represents government’s view on the issue, Beg said, “When CM says something, it definitely is J&K government’s stand. Her (Mehbooba’s) 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, PDP’s ruling ally BJP wants immediate deportation of the Rohingya Muslims from the State.

“Our party’s view is very clear. We are against continuation stay of Rohingya refugees in J&K and country.  We want their immediate deportation,” BJP chief spokesman Sunil Sethi told New Indian Express.

He said the party thinks that Rohingyas stay in J&K is itself an offence of 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 signatory to any treaty on refugees”.

When told that CM Mehbooba wants them to stay in the State, Sethi said, “We don’t agree with CM on the issue. Whatever she says is not binding on BJP. Our view is clear that they (Rohingyas) are not welcome in India and we have adverse reports against them and Union Home Ministry has also said it. In any case, there is no reason for them to remain in J&K.’

In response to a question that CM has said that there was no adverse report against Rohingyas in J&K, he 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.”

According to Sethi there should be no politics on people staying illegally in India.  “If instead of Muslims, Rohingyas would have been Hindus we would have still opposed their stay in India.”

“We cannot give a protection to a person on basis of religion. We cannot allow anybody entry in the country without passport of visa. If we do so then Pakistani nationals would also come here saying they are being prosecuted back home,” he said.

Sethi said if the Rohingya refugees have been registered by UN, then it should provide them place, where they can stay. “They can stay in Bangladesh or return to Burma. It is UN’s responsibility to ensure their safety and security there. We cannot take risk of our security being compromised.”

A Rohingya Muslim girl, Yasmeen, who lives along with other 16 Rohingya families in outskirts of Srinagar, said they would  prefer to be killed here rather than getting killed by Buddhist mobs and Burmese troops back at our native place in Myanmar.

 “My father and brother are in captivity of Burmese troops and I don’t know their fate. I don’t know whether they are alive or dead. My mother, brother, sister and sister-in-law have escaped to Bangladesh. When we are facing persecution in Myanmar, how can we return there,” she said.

The central government in an affidavit recently informed  the Supreme Court that Rohingya Muslims are  illegal immigrants in the country and their continued stay posed  serious national security ramifications.

India Matters


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