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India's Crackdown on Rohingyas Has Prompted A Reverse Exodus – Reports

Sputnik News

17:51 22.01.2019(updated 18:51 22.01.2019)

After the Indian government launched a crackdown on illegal immigrants, a reverse exodus of Rohingyas from India to Bangladesh has gathered momentum. In the last few weeks, as many as 1,300 Rohingyas taking shelter in India have reportedly crossed over to Bangladesh, according to the Bangladeshi refugee relief and repatriation commissioner.

30 Rohingyas who were roaming inside Indian territory in search of livelihood have been detained by the authorities in the north-eastern state of Assam. The group, comprising 12 children and a few women, were travelling to Guwahati, the capital of Assam, from the neighbouring state Tripura when the police identified and nabbed them, reports newspaper The Assam Tribune.

"During routine interrogation at the check-post, these Rohingyas were found without valid documents. They have violated the Passport Act hence steps would be taken accordingly. Further investigation is in progress", a senior police official, Inom Saikia, told The Assam Tribune on Tuesday.

Another police official told Sputnik on condition of anonymity that during the interrogation, all of the Rohingyas confessed that they came to Tripura from Jammu via Delhi last week. After spending three days in Agartala, the capital of Tripura, they were unable to find work; therefore they decided to travel to Guwahati. They also revealed that a local named Raju had brought them to northeast India from Jammu by promising to assist them in finding jobs.

The police suspect that the Rohingyas originally planned to cross over to Bangladesh via Tripura, but strict vigil at the border failed their attempts.

A similar attempt by 31 Rohingyas, including nine children and six women, were foiled last week by the border forces after they were stranded between the Indian barbed wire border fencing and the border pillars demarcating India and Bangladesh.

In the last few weeks, hundreds of Rohingyas in India have started fleeing to Bangladesh after the Indian government tightened the noose around them in terms of gathering their biometric data and other such details.

"Massive detentions are under way in different Indian states. The level of the crackdown on the Rohingyas in the Muslim-dominated Jammu-Kashmir, Hyderabad and New Delhi is extreme. Fearing deportation to Myanmar, they are crossing the border into Bangladesh", Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner Abul Kalam Azad told a Bangladeshi news portal last week.

In 2018, at least 230 Rohingyas were apprehended by India's Border Security Force guarding the Indo-Bangladesh border.

Rohingya Muslims are originally from Myanmar, which they fled owing to inter-religious conflicts in 2017. Currently, over 1.1 million Rohingya reside in Cox's Bazar refugee camp in Bangladesh. An estimated 40,000 Rohingya have taken refugee in states like Jammu and Kashmir, West Bengal, and Telangana in India. Fewer than 15,000 are registered with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.


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