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36K Rohingyas here, can’t rule out their terror links: BSF chief

| | New Delhi

As the country battles with Rohingya crisis, the Border Security Force has put their number to 36,000 in India and said their links with terror activities could not be ruled out.

Director General of BSF KK Sharma said on Wednesday that his troops have apprehended 87 Rohingya Muslims along the Indo-Bangla border since the beginning of this year till October 31, and 76 of them have been sent back to Bangladesh.

“As far as my information goes, about 36,000 Rohingyas are there in this country at various places. This is one of those general observations and is based on inputs we received from our sister agencies (like police and intelligence),” Sharma told reporters during an interaction ahead of the BSF’s 52nd Raising Day on December 1.

A report from Guwahati said police in Tripura on Wednesday detained eight suspected Rohingyas from Myanmar. They had been moving suspiciously in Khayerpur area, police said.

The group of eight including three men, two women and three children were taken to Ranirbazar police station under west Tripura District after detention and are being quizzed at present to ascertain their credentials.

The BSG DG said the border guarding force has not come across any specific case where a Rohingya they caught possessed arms, ammunition or had terror connection.

                Continued on Page 4

36K Rohingyas

here, don’t rule

out their terror

links: BSF chief



“But, the threat that they have some links with terror organisations is a very serious one and it has been given by our sister agencies and I don’t doubt them,” Sharma said.

He said the force has bolstered its manpower and surveillance equipments at “vulnerable” posts along the Bangladesh border to check the illegal influx of Rohingyas from the neighbouring country into India.

The force sent back the Rohingyas and did not arrest them as they would have then become a “liability,” the DG said.

“Rohingya is a very complicated issue. As per the latest estimate, 9-10 lakh of them have migrated to Bangladesh (from Myanmar) and the possibility of a spillover coming to India cannot be ruled out.

Our mandate is very clear that we do not allow any illegal immigration into India, whether he is a Rohingya or a Bangladeshi,” Sharma said.

In the border areas, the BSF chief said his troops were not equipped to make a distinction between a Bangladeshi and a Rohingya. “So, whosoever tries to cross (the border) we sent them back. We don’t arrest them as that becomes a liability. Our policy is not to allow anyone enter India illegally,” he said.

An official note provided by the BSF during the conference said, “agents allure Rohingyas with good job opportunities in India and motivate that they will work with their own Muslim community in some of the States such as Jammu & Kashmir, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal”. It said that most of the Rohingyas go to Jammu because some Rohingyas have already been staying there for the last few years.

“Apart from being a natural choice due to its Muslim majority, the Rohingyas say that they pick Jammu & Kashmir on economic consideration and most of them follow a similar pattern. Once a Rohingya reaches Jammu, he stays there for a few months and then invites other relatives, informing them of job opportunities and better pay,” it said. 



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