There can be no justification for these foreigners who entered unauthorisedly into the Indian territory, travelling several hundreds of miles to settle in Jammu, the northern end of the country.
It is patently wrong to paint the voices seeking deportation of Rohingyas and Bangladeshis settled in Jammu as an onslaught on any particular community. This is a cry for weeding out the security threat elements from the peace-loving people of Jammu who have lived in peace for decades. Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians have been living in one another’s neighbourhood for years.
Therefore, to give a communal colour to such calls for deportation is aimed at twisting the facts and distorting the objective of the people of Jammu — to live in peace sans those posing a serious security threat.
The foreigners are as much a threat to Hindus as they are to Muslims. To say that it is the Jammu versus Kashmir narrative is again an attempt to polarise the situation in this sensitive border state to obscure the real issue.
The political leaders who come out in defence of these foreigners and vow to keep them permanently in Jammu as a part of the Muslim community of the region have no justification, whatsoever. To make it into a Muslim versus Hindus issue, as is being done with the clear patronage by some communally oriented politicians, would be courting disaster. It appears to be a sinister design to disintegrate the state.
There is, and there can be, no justification for these foreigners who entered unauthorisedly into the Indian territory, travelling several hundreds of miles to settle in Jammu, the northern end of the country. They could have found refuge or shelter at many places en route while travelling from the borders to this place, which neither has Muslims in the majority nor is an economic hub. Their decision to settle in Jammu raises several doubts. Jammu is a border area, where militancy has tried to raise its head many a time and it is also under a major threat of drug trafficking.
There are a series of police reports dating back to early 2000 about Rohingyas and Bangladeshis being involved in anti-social activities through the patronage of politicians, who thrive on communal politics. Lately, what has come to the fore is that these “refugees” have procured official documents like Aadhaar cards and ration cards, which accord them the status of permanent residents of the state. On their own, they could not have done so. There is official and political patronage available to them.
Why did they require these documents, and who helped them? These questions are directly related to their intentions to settle permanently in Jammu in violation of law. Their links with militants are under scanner. This is what has made the people in Jammu raise their voice for their ouster.
It is beyond comprehension that a section of Muslims in J&K, apparently misguided or working under the influence of some undesirable elements within the state and outside of it, should jump in their favour and make common cause with them. They are not only perceived as a threat but are a real threat to the national security. There is absolutely no doubt that Rohingyas are victims of persecution in their country — Burma or Myanmar. They are being driven out from there by the Buddhists. That is a sheer case of religious intolerance there. But that doesn’t mean that the revenge of that intolerance they should seek from the soil of Jammu.
Recently, a traders’ body shockingly declared in a statement that an agitation would be launched to “identify and kill” illegal immigrants if the government failed to take action against Rohingyas, whose population, like that of the Bangladeshis, has multiplied exponentially. The statement was ill-conceived and badly expressed. Despite this, there doesn’t seem to be any intention of making it a Hindu versus Muslim issue. It remains Jammu versus anti-social elements issue. It is good that the statement has been withdrawn.
The point is simple that things reached such a pass because the governments over the years have not been able to check the Rohingyas’ infiltration and their deep intrusion into Jammu. It is for the government and the officials to identify these men and women and honourably deport them to their country of origin.