Rohingyas in Bangladesh: Consequences

District authorities in Jammu woke up from limbo after U4UVoice revealed that Rohingyas in Jammu are being alotted Aadhar Cards illegaly.

Administration conducted raids and confirmed that some of the Rohingyas and Bangladeshi families staying illegally in different parts of Jammu have even obtained voter Id cards, ration cards, Aadhar cards and in some cases state subject certificates also in connivance with local politicians and government authorities who were sympathetic towards them.

Following this expose the district administration has now constituted different teams comprising of officials from Revenue, Election, Police and Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Departments to conduct special census of localities where Rohingyas and Bangladeshis have been putting up illegally.

According to state government records these Rohingyas and Bangladeshis are settled across 35 localities across Jammu City and their total strength is estimated to be over 13,000.

These teams have been mandated to verify as to how many illegal immigrants have obtained ration cards, voter cards, Aadhaar cards or even State Subject certificates by fudging records.


CONSEQUENCES?

These teams have been mandated to verify as to how many illegal immigrants have obtained ration cards, voter cards, Aadhaar cards or even State Subject certificates by fudging records.

As of 2014, about  1.3 million Rohingyas live in Myanmar and an estimated 1 million are disseminated across Asia. Facing persecution at the hands of Myanmar government ,  Rohingyas are now essentially a precariat, having taken refuge in foreign lands without an official identity.

Settlement in Bangladesh

Upon migration, Bangladesh posed as their first point of entry where Rohingyas where Rohingyas are present since 1970s. The District Commissioner of Cox’s Bazar is quoted as having said that the opportunity to travel to other countries from Bangladesh is a major factor in drawing the Rohingya to Bangladesh. MCRG report states that around 28,000 Rohingyas live in the two UNHCR camps at Kutupalong and Nayapara in Cox’s Bazaar. The District Commissioner of Cox’s Bazar is quoted as having said that the opportunity to travel to other countries from Bangladesh is a major factor in drawing the Rohingya to Bangladesh. An estimated 300,000 live outside the camps in villages or makeshift camps and are unregistered by the Government of Bangladesh or UNHCR. The research identified that the villagers would often adopt a Rohingya family and provide an identity in exchange for free or cheap labour.

Rohingya: Growing menace

In an interview with Barnaby Phillips of Al Jazeera on 27 July 2012, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Haseena repeatedly asserted that it was not her country’s problem to deal with the Rohingyas and she could not intervene because it was unwise to meddle in the internal affairs of another country.  The UNHCR and the Bangladesh Govt  had stopped registering Rohingyas in 1992.

The Rohingyas have been involved in drugs and arms smuggling from Myanmar. Rohingyas are characterised as threatening the moral and economic fibre of Bangladeshi society.  “Antisocial activities are increasing among the unregistered Rohingya refugee community. The social vices in the Rohingya community: commercial sexual exploitation, fake marriages, fake proposal of work, and the prevalence of sexually transmitted infections (STI) threaten the local social life and damage the stability of the Bangladesh-Myanmar border region…Undocumented Rohingya refugees use Bangladesh passport to travel abroad…Because Bangladesh depends on overseas remittance for its foreign currency reserve, the decline of the labour market could damage the country’s economic stability.“, as stated in the research report by MCRG.

Rohingyas had become characterised as a ‘problem’, a figurative and metaphorical disease carrier that literally infects Bangladesh (with sexually transmitted disease, for instance) and metaphorically infects the country by strengthening the cause of Islamist fundamentalism. Utpala Rahman, a Bangladeshi scholar states in The Rohingya Refugee, “If the situation of Rohingya Muslims is not addressed quickly, with an emphasis on justice and rights, the refugee camps can easily become a thriving breeding ground for terrorism and bring trouble for Bangladesh and the region.”

 

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