Authorities in occupied Kashmir have sent at least 168 Rohingya refugees to camps, police said on Sunday. Thousands of refugees living in disputed areas will be deported in the process.
The move began on Saturday following instructions from the disputed region’s interior ministry to identify Rohingya, who live in the southern city of Jammu, said Inspector General Mukesh Singh.
He said that around 5,000 Rohingya Muslims have been shifted in Jammu in recent years.
“They all live here illegally and we have started to identify them,” Singh said. “This process will eventually deport you to your country.”
More than one million Rohingya have fled waves of persecution in their homeland, Myanmar. Now live in overcrowded impoverished refugee camps in Bangladesh.
Since Saturday, officials have summoned hundreds of Rohingya at a stadium in Jammu, took their personal data and biometrics and tested for the new coronavirus.
“One prison building has turned into a detention center for refugees on the outskirts of the city and at least 168 Rohingya have sent there so far”, Singh said.
Refugees who were previously exposed to hostilities in the city don’t know what happened. Jammu is a predominantly Hindu region in the Muslim-occupied Kashmir region.
Khadija, a Rohingya Muslim woman using a name said, “Indian authorities kidnapped her son on Saturday and she did not know where he was being held. Her daughter-in-law gave birth on Sunday morning“, she also added.
About 40,000 Rohingya have fled in parts occupied Kashmir of India. Fewer than 15,000 have registered with the UN High Commissioner for International Refugees.
Where have Rohingya refugees settled?
Most of them have settled in areas of large Muslim populations, including the southern cities of Hyderabad and New Delhi. Some took refuge in northeast areas India which bordering Bangladesh and Myanmar.
The Indian government claims there is evidence that there are extremists who jeopardize state security among the Rohingya people and urges them all to become deported illegal immigrants.
In recent years 2018 and 2019, Indian immigration authorities deported at least 12 Rohingya’s in two groups to Myanmar. Human rights groups have asked the Indian government to drop plans to deport Rohingya and examine their asylum applications.