State Times News JAMMU: Even though BJP and PDP have apparently managed to bridge the widening gap over the contentious issue of revoking Article 35A, another crisis is set to put the alliance partners to test with regard to deportation of Rohingya Muslims from Jammu and other parts of the State. After the Union Government recently informed Rajya Sabha that it had issued detailed instructions for their deportation, ball was set rolling here in the State administration to work out the modalities for their safe return to their native places. The State government had earlier set up high level Group of Ministers headed by Deputy Chief Minister Dr Nirmal Singh to thoroughly review the issue of their illegal settlement in the State. After initial meeting in the first week of May 2017, the Group of Ministers never met again to take a look at the data collected by the State Home Secretary. Interestingly, PDP and other mainstream Kashmiri parties had even then opposed any move to deport Rohingya Muslims from Jammu and other parts of the State. The influx of Rohingya Muslims in Jammu took place during the National Conference–Congress regime, which ensured facilities like electricity and drinking water being to their dwelling places. The Rohingya Muslims also got support of a Srinagar based NGO which felicitated Madrassas and schools for their children, with NC-Congress dispensation taking no cognizance of brazen encouragement of illegal settlers, least to speak about their deportation. The fact that the Union Government had made it clear that the power to identify and deport such squatters had also been delegated to the State governments and UT administrations leaves no scope for any State government agency to sit over the matter and delay their return. Since the State government had already prepared a comprehensive data and is aware of the locations where these Rohingya Muslims have been camping in and around Jammu makes it convenient for the task force to initiate their deportation after verifying their antecedents. There are an estimated 40,000 Rohingyas who, after being disowned by Buddhist Myanmar, fled their homes and crossed over to India to take refuge here. They followed three infiltration routes for entering India; by sea, via Bangladesh border (there are around 3 lakh Rohingyas living in Bangladesh) and via China area on Myanmar border. Around 5,500-5,700 of the Rohingya immigrants are based in Jammu alone, though the Home Ministry fears the number may be 10,000-11,000 if a true count is taken.
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