MHA describes Rohingyas’ stay in Jammu as ‘illegal’, said will deport them

JAMMU, Aug 24: The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has described settlement of Rohingyas and Bangladeshis in Jammu as “illegal” and declared that they would be deported. The tough stand taken by the Home Ministry could strain the relations between PDP-BJP coalition Government as the two parties have divergent views on the deportation of illegal immigrants.

Union Minister of State for Home, Hansraj Gangaram Ahir made the MHA stand clear on deportation of Rohingyas and Bangladeshis at a press conference here this afternoon after high-level review of security situation along the International Border (IB) and another meeting on the issues of West Pakistani, Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) and Kashmiri refugees.

Responding to a question, Ahir said the Rohingyas and Bangladeshis were living “illegally” in Jammu and the Home Ministry was clear that they have to be deported at an “appropriate time”.

“We have given instructions to the authorities to identify the colonies, where Rohingyas and Bangladeshis have been settled…the nature of work they were doing here…whether they were indulging in non-violent activities and posing threat to security and society,” the Minister of State for Home said, adding that the MHA was firm on its stand that Rohingyas and Bangladeshis have to be deported.

The settlement of Rohingyas and Bangladeshis’ in Jammu has become a major issue with various political parties and organizations cornering the entre and State seeking immediate deportation of illegal immigrants. However, the two coalition partners, BJP and PDP have divergent stand with BJP calling for deportation of Rohingyas and Bangladeshis and PDP maintaining distance from it.

Replying to another question on number of militants and their training camps across the International Border in Pakistan, Ahir said he wouldn’t like to go into the numbers but it was clear that any militant, who tried to infiltrate into the Indian territory from Pakistan will be killed.

“I won’t comment on numbers of the militants and their training camps in Pakistan but one thing is clear that our security forces are maintaining very high alert and strict surveillance on the borders. If any militant tries to intrude, he will be eliminated,” he added.

“We are working to ensure peace in Kashmir by winter. It is our commitment to ensure safety and security of the people and also along the borders,” Ahir said.

“We formed the (PDP-BJP) Government (in the State) on the promise of ensuring peace and progress of the State. This is what Prime Minister Narendra Modi has often said. The Government has worked very efficiently to secure its borders and also the people of the State,” he said.

While talking about the Government approach towards addressing the problems related to Kashmir, he said, “On August 15, the Prime Minister had said that we want to embrace the people of the Kashmir and we will not leave them. We are working in this direction.”

Ahir noted that the Government has already announced a package of Rs 80,000 crore for Jammu and Kashmir.

“We have to spent that for the development of the State. Youth are to be given employment after training them,” he added.

“We are confident of ensuring development of Jammu and Kashmir. We are determined to do it and we assure the people of the State that during the tenure of our Government we will ensure development,” the Minister said.

Referring to his visit to border areas, he said, “the residents are not feeling scared (due to ceasefire violations by Pakistan). They met me and raised some of demands including construction of bunkers immediately.”

He said there should be more community bunkers which can house families rather than the individual bunkers.

The border residents also raised the demand of compensation, Ahir said, adding, “we are committed to resolve their problems.”

He also said that 6000 transit accommodations will be constructed in Kashmir for employees of Kashmiri Pandits.

“There has been not much progress in this sector. Land has not been acquired. The state government has been asked to speed up the process,” the Union Minister said.

Asserting that militancy was on decline in Jammu and Kashmir, the Minister of State for Home, who had been deputed here by Home Minister Rajnath Singh for detailed review of security situation and other issues of Jammu and Kashmir, cited figures to maintaining that large number of militants have been killed and arrested recently while infiltration from across the border has come down.

“Our security forces are fully prepared to tackle the militancy. They have been doing commendable job. We will ensure that people of Jammu and Kashmir are free from internal and external threats,” Ahir said, adding that security forces have achieved many successes recently and would maintain the momentum.

Ahir, who would visit the Kashmir valley next month for similar security review there, said situation has undergone considerable improvement there this summer.

He added that all issues of West Pakistan and PoK refugees and Kashmiri migrants will be addressed and they formed priority for the Home Ministry.

“The West Pakistani refugees are being issue identity cards and they would be eligible for recruitment in five battalions of Indian Reserve Police (IRP), which are being raised by the Home Ministry shortly. Their other issues would also be taken on priority. The problems of PoK refugees and Kashmiri migrants are also being taken care of,” he added.

Ahir had detailed review of the problems of West Pakistani and PoK refugees and Kashmiri migrants with Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Dr Mandeep K Bhandari, IGP Jammu Dr SD Singh Jamwal, Deputy Commissioner, Jammu, Kumar Rajiv Ranjan and Relief Commissioner ML Raina.

He was reported to have directed the officials that problems of refugees and migrants should form priority of the Government officers and addressed immediately and appropriately. He called for taking all possible measures to mitigate sufferings of the refugees by holding frequent inter-actions with their representatives.

He told the officers that issues pertaining to refugees and migrants, which concerned the Centre, should be forwarded to the Home Ministry at the earliest.

Earlier, soon after his arrival here in the morning, the Minister of State for Home, visited International Border of Chamliyal in Ramgarh sector of Samba district, where he reviewed situation with top BSF officials including IG BSF Jammu Frontiers Ram Awtar. The Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, the IGP Jammu and Deputy Commissioner, Samba Sheetal Nanda also accompanied the Minister.

Speaking to reporters at Samba, he said the Home Ministry was looking into the issue of allotment of 5 marla plots to the border dwellers.
“The Home Ministry is seized of the issues of border dwellers arising out of ceasefire violations by Pakistan. We are working out a solution to their problems,” he said.

Replying to a question that civilians killed in Ramgarh sector last year in Pakistan shelling and firing haven’t been paid any compensation so far, Ahir said: “there might be some issue. They will get full compensation if it hasn’t been paid so far”.

Addressing the BSF jawans at forward area of Chamliyal, Ahir said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh were concerned about safety of jawans because if they were safe they will protect the country and its 125 crore population.

He said the BSF has been given modernized weapons and equipments to tackle infiltration attempts by the militants and ceasefire violations.
Ahir also paid obeisance at Baba Chamliyal Ji shrine at Ramgarh sector.

An official handout said:  Ahir was informed in the meeting on issues of refugees that Rs 2000 crore is to be disbursed to 36384 families of displaced persons from PoK and Chhamb, which was sanctioned by the Prime Minister for one time settlement for their rehabilitation.

The Minister was further informed that there are four designated authorities in the state including Deputy Commissioners of Jammu, Samba, Kathua and Custodian (Ex-Officio PRO), Jammu for the submission of cases.

The Union Minister directed the officers to properly scrutinize the cases and upload on the official website on daily basis. He directed to complete the formalities on war footing and send the cases to the Government so that beneficiaries get the first installment under the Prime Minister’s relief package.

Reviewing the schemes for rehabilitation of Kashmiri and Jammu migrants, the Union Minister directed to complete the process of Aadhaar seeding of Bank accounts of beneficiaries at the earliest so that the relief in the form of cash assistance is made through DBT.

The Minister was further informed that an Aadhaar Cell has also been created to facilitate Aadhaar seeding of Bank accounts of beneficiaries, compilation of data in DBT format and redressal of grievance.