msa April 15, 2017

By M. Arafat | April 15, 2017

Jammu, India — Members of a far right-wing Hindu extremist group burned down at least 8 Rohingya Refugee camps here in the Jammu state of India on Friday (Apr 14) morning.

The incident took place at ‘Bhagwati Nagar’ area at around 4:00 AM when a group of extremists widely suspected as the members of ‘J & K National Panthers Party’ barged into the refugee camps, set fire and fled.

“We were sleeping when they sneaked into our camps and set fire. 8 refugee camps were destroyed before we could extinguished the fire.
“Some humanitarian workers arrived and provided aids. But the authorities haven’t taken any action yet”, said a Rohingya refugee on the condition of anonymity.

At least 5 refugee camps were burnt down by the Hindu extremists in two separate incidents on February 19 and 20 respectively. [Read the report HERE]

An unidentified group of assailants ambushed the refugees at the ‘Bhagwati Nagar’ area on April 10 severely injuring 30 refugees including women and children.

“At around 2:00 PM on 10th April, they suddenly launched attacks on the refugees and bloodily wounded 30 people. They also torched our tents and rickshaws crippling our livelihoods”, said Kassim, a refugee living in the area for 2 years.

UNHCR Delhi office immediately informed about the April 10 incident to the authorities according to refugee community.

For the past few weeks, some members of the J & K Panthers Party have been demanding to “identify and kill” Rohingya Muslims and Bangladeshi nationals settled in Jammu if they were not deported within a month.

However, Mehboba Mufti, the Jammu & Kashmir Cheif Minister, last Saturday (on Apr 8) warned saying, “all those who will try to take law into their own hands will face action. All those who will try to threat or intimate those (Rohingya Muslims) will face action.”

The Indian officials have been having higher-level talks about deportations of the Rohingya refugees apparently in the fear of future possible links-up with the unrests in the state of Kashmir. The Indian authorities haven’t found the refugees involving in any high-profile crimes although they accused them of involving in petty crimes.

The human rights groups like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch (HRW) have condemned saying “it would be a blatant violation of India’s commitments under international law” as it means India is sendingback to a place where they have faced and are facing horrific abuses.

“We are not here to create problems and unrests but to seek refuge and stay peacefully. We tremble whenever we hear the news of the government’s plan to deport us to Myanmar”, said Ahmed, another Rohingya Refugee in Jammu.

Approximately 2,300 refugee families have been living in Jammu and Kashmir States after fleeing the violence going on in their homeland back in Myanmar (Burma) since 2012. There are 60 families living in the cluster of the refugees at the Bhagwati Nagar, which is being targeted by J&K National Panthers Party.

[Edited by M.S. Anwar]

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