Thousands of illegal Rohingya Muslims have occupied areas in proximity to the vital defence installations in Jammu and Kashmir including Sunjwan Army camp in Jammu. It is estimated that approximately 10,000 Rohingya Muslims are residing in different parts of Jammu district.
According to a J&K Home department “a total number of 6523 Rohingya Muslims were found living across 39 different places across five districts of Jammu and Kashmir”. According to this report, “6461 Rohingyas were staying in Jammu division and 62 in Kashmir division.
However, local activists and politicians, agitating often state that these figures are misleading as a large number of illegal immigrants are scattered everywhere with any accountability. According to this report, “48 families comprising 206 Rohingyas were found camping in Sunjwan area on the outskirts of Jammu. A military station is located in the close vicinity.
On February 10, 2018, when a heavily armed group of terrorists attacked the Sunjwan army camp in Jammu, serious concerns were raised claiming these terrorists may have been sheltered by the Rohingya Muslims living close to the army camp.
At least 40 Rohingyas were also found staying in Nagrota in the close vicinity of 16 corps headquarters of the Indian army. According to the Home department report, “over 150 families have raised temporary sheds housing 734 Rohingyas opposite police lines in Channi Himmat area of Jammu”. Not only this, a graveyard plot in Narwal area of Jammu is second home for over 250 Rohingyas from Myanmar.
These illegal immigrants have also managed to spread their footprints from two to at least five districts across the state in the last one year. Apart from Jammu, Rohingyas are staying in Samba, Doda, Poonch and Anantnag in Kashmir valley. The biggest cause of concern is those illegal immigrants who have been staying here without any Refugee cards issued by the office of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
According to the report, out of 6523 Rohingyas, more than 400 are staying here without their refugee cards issued by the United National High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Jammu region seems to be the first choice of Rohingyas.
Fears in the security establishment grew after one of the two foreign militants killed in a shootout in south Kashmir in October 2015 turned out to be originally from Myanmar.
“No Rohingya has been found involved in militancy-related incidents. However, more than two dozen other criminal cases have been registered against 50 Rohingyas for various offences,” official sources in the state Home department said.
Under pressure from different quarters to gather details of the exact number of Rohingyas, the Jammu and Kashmir police had initiated a special drive to collect their personal details in a proper format. The drive was launched on the directions of the central government to gather ‘biometrics’ of Rohingyas ahead of their deportation to their native country.
While collecting personal details of these Rohingyas the policemen faced many hardships and a lot of resistance from these immigrants on ground zero.