New Delhi: Twelve Rohingya Muslims have been detained by Jammu and Kashmir police in Ramban district, a report by news agency PTI said.
The report quoting officials said that the group had arrived at Dar village in Gool tehsil as part of a Tablighi group on Friday.
The 12 members were then sent to jail in Hiranagar area of Kathua district. Another report by The Telegraph said 25 Rohingya were picked up from two mosques in Ramban’s Sangaldan area on March 30 and later sent to a “holding centre” inside jail at Hiranagar in Jammu’s Kathua district.
Quoting police officials, the report identified them as Ameer Hakam, Jaffar Alam, Mohammed Noor, Abul Hasan, Mohammed Alam, Noor Ameen, Noor Hussain, Sayeed Hossain, Mohammed Salim, Mohammed Ismail, Kamal Hussain and Mustafa Hussain. As per the reports, they were staying as refugees at Bhatindi and Narwal in Jammu for eight years.
US-based rights group Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Thursday said the Indian government had forcibly deported an ethnic Rohingya woman, Hasina Begum, from Hiranagar on March 22. The group said international law prohibits the forced return of refugees to places where their lives or freedom would be threatened.
“The Indian government gains nothing by forcibly returning a Rohingya woman to Myanmar, while she is separated from her children and put at grave risk,” said Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director at HRW.
“The government’s decision to expel Rohingya refugees despite mountains of evidence that their lives and freedoms would be at risk in Myanmar shows cruel disregard for human life and international law.”
The HRW has put the number of Rohingya in India at 40,000, at least 20,000 of whom are registered with the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).
“Since 2016, ultranationalist Hindu groups have targeted Rohingya refugees in Jammu as part of growing attacks on Muslims in India and called for their expulsion from the country,” the HRW said.
“Since October 2018, the Indian government has deported 12 Rohingya to Myanmar, claiming that they left voluntarily. However, the government denied repeated requests by the UNHRC to gain access to them to independently assess whether the decision was voluntary.”
The statement said Hasina Begum, her husband and three children were all registered as refugees with the UNHRC.
“She was among the Rohingya detained by Jammu and Kashmir authorities on March 6, 2021, when the authorities sent them to a holding centre as part of a verification process, saying that the government planned to deport them. Her husband told Human Rights Watch that he and his children have not seen her since she was detained over a year ago,” the statement said.
Jammu and Kashmir police have been tight-lipped about the alleged deportation.
“The authorities forcibly returned her to Myanmar despite a March 21, 2022, order by the Manipur State Human Rights Commission putting the deportation on hold,” the rights body said.
“Hasina Begum’s husband, Ali Johar, 37, after learning that she might be deported, wrote to the UNHRC, appealing for the agency to intervene. He said he had not received a response. UNHRC officials told Human Rights Watch that they had contacted the Indian authorities about the case,” the HRW said.
Free Press Kashmir is now on Telegram. Click here to Join.
FPK Android App for 2G. Click here to Download.