10/22/2012, 00.00
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Jammu, police orders expulsion of Rohingya refugees

The refugees have already left the area around the central station, the university and the Zoarawar Singh auditorium. Resistance of thousands of Muslims who live in the slums outside the city. Superintendent of Police: "They represent a threat to internal security." But government authorities claim they never issued order.

Jammu (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Police in Jammu and Kashmir have ordered the Rohingya refugees to leave the city of Jammu, where they had to date found refuge. Citing "security reasons", the deputy superintendent of Jammu East, SS Sambiyal said that, "the militants among the Muslim minority originating from Myanmar could pretend to be refugees" and "pose a threat to internal security." For the moment, the agents are evacuating areas of the central station, the university and the Zoarawar Singh auditorium. Meanwhile, trying to figure out who has issued the expulsion order: the State authorities, in fact, say they issued no such communication.

The police tried to remove the thousands of people who live in the slums of Kalyani Talab Narwal, on the edge of the city. However, here the Rohingya live on private land, and pay rent on a regular basis. "Living here - says Kareem, a refugee -  costs 900 rupees a month (about 13 euro)." Despite the difficult conditions, the members of the community prefer to work instead of begging: most of them are employed as street vendors or day laborers at the station.

Following a case of rape and murder of a Buddhist since last May tension between the Rohingya Muslim community and the authorities was rekindled in Myanmar, often resulting in violent clashes with the Buddhist population. Originating in the Rakhine State, the Rohingya are at the heart of a still unresolved ethno-political issue: Yangon does not recognize them as a race, and considers them illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, Dhaka, however, refuses to accept them. And now India is also driving them away.


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