By: Rahul Tripathi
Source: The Economic Times
The rise in number of Rohingya Muslims settling in India has set the alarm bells ringing among the security agencies with Bureau of Immigration (BoI) claiming that more than 10,000 families are reported to have settled in India with Jammu and Kashmir recording the highest number. The numbers, security agencies suspect, may be higher as large number of Rohingyas are also staying illegally in India and poses more serious security threat.
According to official data, there are nearly 6684 families of Rohingyas settled in Jammu and Kashmir while 1755 are reported to be in Andhra Pradesh. The issues was taken up by the Centre recently with States after deputy NSA Arvind Gupta held a meeting in June over increasing infiltration of Rohingya into India from Myanmar. The government also asked the States to prepare the list of the families, refugees’ camps, their occupation and place of origin in Myanmar.
The security agencies also warned the Centre that Pakistan’s Inter State Intelligence (ISI) may try to exploit Rohingyas to support jihad. “Recently, Delhi based Rohingya youth have become proactive in placing the Rohingyas issue on international forum and making contacts with the Saudi Arabia based Gulf Rohingyas council. A close watch is necessary over the Rohingyas who are generally living in makeshift camps,” says a communication sent to States.
Intelligence agencies also pointed to support extended by Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and the al-Qaeda while raising the issue of Rohingya at various forums and making contributions through charity. This according to sources is aimed to rope youths into terrorist outfits by luring them with easy money.
The arrest of a Rohingya by NIA last year in connection with Burdwan blast is a case in point. He however was not charged by NIA for the blast and was found to be illegally staying in India and was in touch with the Burdwan blast co-conspirators.
Another alarming development, intelligence agencies point is to the fact that Rohingya Muslims in the valley are marrying Kashmiri girls which may pave the way for their permanent settlement. In August 2011, the United Nations High Commission for Refugee (UNHCR) issued ‘Asylum Seeker Cards’ to some Rohingyas Muslims staying in India for the last 4-5 years.
They have since then started demanding refugee status from the UNHCR to enable them to stay legally or relocate to a third country. The States where maximum influx of Rohingyas are Delhi, Haryana, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Manipur.