Leaving no scope of ambiguity in its stand on the nearly 40,000 Rohingya Muslims living illegally in the country, the government on Wednesday informed the Rajya Sabha that it had issued detailed instructions for their deportation, which was a continuous process.
Stating that Centre is vested with powers to deport foreign nationals illegally staying in the country under Section 3(2)(c) of the Foreigners Act, 1946, minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju in written reply to a Rajya Sabha question stated that the powers to identify, detail and deport such squatters had also been delegated to the state governments and UT administrations.
“The Central government has directed the state governments to constitute task force at district levels to identify and deport the illegally staying foreign nationals. Besides the issue of illegal immigration is taken up with the neighbouring countries during bilateral talks at various levels,” he informed the Elders.
According to a senior home ministry official, there are an estimated 40,000 Rohingyas who, after being disowned by Buddhist Myanmar, fled their homes and crossed over to India to take refuge here. They follow three infiltration routes for entering India; by sea, via Bangladesh border (there are around 3 lakh Rohingyas living in Bangladesh) and via Chin area on Myanmar border.
Around 5,500-5,700 of the Rohingya immigrants are based in Jammu alone, though the home ministry fears the number may be 10,000-11,000 if a true count is taken. This, an officer of the central security establishment conceded, is an unusually high percentage of the all-India figure.