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UNHCR tells Rohingyas Jammu may not be safe, offers relocation funds

Just past noon on November 8, two United Nations officers from Delhi waited for about two dozen Rohingya refugees in a white, ground-floor room in Jammu with a message: “You may face problems or dangers in Jammu, move out if you want, we will fund you,” several refugees said.

The Rohingyas, mainly Muslims, had fled Myanmar because of a military crackdown against them in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, reached Jammu after travelling through Bangladesh and crossing the border in West Bengal. They are spread out in several refugee camps.

But protests by members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP) have added an element of uncertainty to their stay in Jammu. The protestors have been demanding the Muslim refugees be ousted from Jammu, calling them “illegal”.

The UN officers, who belonged to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), along with UNHCR’s partner organisations, later visited Rohingya refugee settlements in Jammu with the same message, according to refugees at the five settlements which this IANS correspondent visited.

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