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UNHCR officials to meet J&K administration over detention of Rohingyas

Last Updated on March 11, 2021 at 10:32 pm

As 175 Rohingyas were sent to a jail in Jammu on March 6, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) representative will meet authorities to discuss the issue, according to the sources.

As some Rohingyas were detained, a sense of fear has taken over the community. The UNHCR move may calm down these tensions. There were also some cases in which Jammu Police had reunited Rohingya children with their parents who are detained. Jammu Police Inspector General Mukesh Singh said that these cases are being monitored in a humanitarian way.

The ‘Holding Center’ has been established through a government notification of March 5, 2021. Actions in this matter are being taken under section 3(2)e of the Foreigners Act. However, the Human Rights Watch has released a statement demanding that the Indian government must stop any plans to deport ethnic Rohingya and others to Myanmar as they might be oppressed by its military junta.

Sources said that these immigrants could not produce valid travel documents which are required according to section (3) of the Passports Act. More such immigrants are being identified. Once they are sent to the Holding Center, their nationality will be verified according to the prescribed process. After Nationality verification is over, they will be deported.

The centre had asked states in 2017 to identify Rohingya refugees who are living illegally and deport them. There are estimates that India has around 40,000 Rohingyas. Around 16,500 of these Rohingyas are registered with UNHCR. Rohingyas are registered as refugees with the UN but India is not a signatory to any accord on refugees. The only document which Rohingyas possess is a UNHCR card.

The Rohingyas are wishing that UNHCR cards prevent their deportation. Police sources state that UNHCR cards are not valid document and can’t be used to stay in Jammu and Kashmir.

UNHCR is a United Nations body which is set up for promoting and protecting human rights across the world. The UNHCR has the responsibility to investigate cases including allegations of human rights violations in United Nations member states.