Police launches major drive to identify people providing shelter to Rohingyas in Jammu

JAMMU — Four persons were arrested and many others booked on Tuesday as the police launched a major drive to identify those providing shelter to the illegally settled Rohingya immigrants in different districts of Jammu region, officials said.

Three persons were arrested in Poonch and one in Rajouri, while 10 others were booked in Doda besides seven FIRs were registered at different police stations in Jammu where the police parties swooped on the Rohingya settlements at over two dozen places and carried out house-to-house searches, they said.

“Some locals have provided their plots of land to settle the outside immigrants. We are checking and identifying these facilitators, who are also availing the government benefits for them,” Deputy Inspector General (DIG), Jammu-Samba-Kathua range, Shakti Pathak, told reporters outside a Rohingya settlement here.

Pathak, who was supervising the crackdown, said some 30 locations in the jurisdiction of seven police stations were searched in Jammu city.

Earlier, a police spokesperson said that seven FIRs were lodged at Satwari, Trikuta Nagar, Bagh-e-Bahu, Channi Himmat, Nowabad, Domana and Nagrota police stations against the people accused of providing shelter to the foreign immigrants and also availing the government benefits to them.

The searches in the presence of the magistrates were conducted at different locations where the non-citizens are accommodated anIMd also at the residential places of the facilitators, the official said, adding that illegally acquired Indian documents like PAN cards, Aadhaar cards and bank documents among other incriminating materials were seized during the searches.

“Investigation into the matter has started and other details will be shared subsequently. Stringent action in the future shall be taken against all such defaulters,” the spokesperson said.

The officials said that three persons identified as Nazir Ahmad Gujjar, Mohd Sayaf and Waseem Akram were arrested for creating fake Aadhaar card and ration card of a Rohingya at Dhargloon village of Poonch district.

Gujjar, who had married his daughter Farzana Kosser to Rohingya Mohd Numaan in 2016, had managed fake Aadhaar card and ration card for his son-in-law, the officials said.

Numaan, who was arrested on November 30, is presently in judicial custody, they said.

A police spokesman said that another facilitator Lal Din was arrested from his Laam-Nowshera residence in Rajouri district following an investigation of a case registered in October post the arrest of a Myanmar woman named Haleema, who is presently on bail.

The spokesman said the police have registered three FIRs in Doda district against 10 foreign immigrants, including Rohingyas and Bangladeshi nationals and their facilitators for illegally procuring Indian identity documents like domicile certificates, Aadhaar cards, Ration cards, Voter ID cards and PAN cards.

The spokesman said that two cases were registered at the Bhaderwah police station, while another case was lodged at the Gandoh police station.

He added a detailed inquiry has been conducted and it emerged that the Rohingyas managed to enter Doda and illegally procured the Indian identity documents to settle in the district illegally.

The police have conducted house searches and recovered incriminating materials which are seized as evidences, the spokesman said.

He said the investigation of all the three cases have been set into motion to ascertain the facilitators and the government employees involved in providing Indian identity documents and other allied assistance to these foreigners so that such helping hands could be brought to book.

A day earlier, the police in Kishtwar district registered a case following recovery of illegally obtained documents like Aadhaar cards during a crackdown against Rohingyas in the district.

The case was registered under various sections, including 420 (cheating), 467 (forgery of important documents), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating) and 471 (using as genuine a forged document) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) at the Dachhan police station.

Following persecution in their country, many Rohingyas entered India illegally through Bangladesh and took shelter in Jammu and other parts of the country.

According to government data, over 13,700 foreigners, including Rohingya Muslims and Bangladeshi nationals, are settled in Jammu and other districts of Jammu and Kashmir, where their population has increased by over 6,000 between 2008 and 2016.

Earlier in March 2021, the police found over 250 Rohingyas, including women and children, living illegally in Jammu city during a verification drive and subsequently lodged them in a holding centre inside Sub-Jail Kathua. — (PTI)