The arrest of Rohingya Muslims in Jammu exposes the anti-Muslim approach of the Indian government, Kashmir resistance leader Syed Ali Geelani said on Monday.
In a statement issued on Twitter, the ailing leader said: In Jammu, the arrest of Rohingya Muslims is a clear proof of the Indian government’s anti-Muslim mindset based on dirty politics.”
His remarks come after Indian authorities sent 168 Rohingyas to jail after they were allegedly found living illegally in Jammu city on Sunday.
“To hound helpless refugees is not only a violation of international and humanitarian laws but brazen shamelessness,” Geelani who remains incarcerated at his Srinagar home for a year, said.
The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Saturday had begun a drive to collect biometric and other details of Rohingyas staying here. The drive is part of an exercise to trace foreigners living in the city without valid documents.
“At least 168 illegal immigrant Rohingyas have been sent to Hiranagar jail,” a senior police officer had said.
The verification process of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar was carried out at the MAM Stadium amid high security, the officials said, adding further verification of the foreigners is going on.
Geelani said the United Nation must take note of India’s actions against Rohingya refugees and initiate strict action against the country.
The Rohingyas are a Bengali-dialect speaking Muslim minority in Myanmar. Following persecution in their country, many of them entered India illegally through Bangladesh and took shelter in Jammu and other parts of India.
Many political parties and social organisations in Jammu had urged the Centre to take immediate steps for the deportation of Rohingyas and Bangladeshi nationals, alleging that their presence is a “conspiracy to alter the demographic character” in the region and a “threat to the peace”.
More than 13,700 foreigners, including Rohingya Muslims and Bangladeshi nationals, are settled in Jammu and Samba districts, where their population has increased by over 6,000 between 2008 and 2016, according to government data.