261 Rohingya Muslims Residing In State, Efforts Being Made To Repatriate: Punjab Govt To Supreme Court
The Punjab government has told the Supreme Court that 261 Rohingya Muslims are residing in the state currently and that their biometric details have been uploaded on the website of the Government of India for registration.
In an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court, the Punjab government has said that it does not share international borders with Bangladesh or Myanmar.
"However, as per the record of this office, there are 261 Rohingya Muslims who have been residing in Dera Bassi and Handesra areas of district SAS Nagar in Punjab", states the affidavit.
"Out of these 261 Rohingya Muslims, 191 are residing in Dera Bassi and 70 in village Handesra. Further, out of 261, 227 are in possession of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) certificates. The same in the case of 34 Rohingyas could not be secured due to COVID-19 pandemic," the affidavit stated.
The affidavit was filed in response to a PIL filed by Advocate Ashwini Upadhyay, seeking a direction to the Centre and the states to "identify, detain and deport" illegal migrants, including Bangladeshis and Rohingyas, from the country.
The plea has sought a direction to the Centre and the states to "amend the respective laws to make illegal immigration and infiltration a cognizable, non-bailable and con-compoundable offence".
The Punjab government has further said Rohingyas residing in the state have been serving in slaughter houses and meat plants on daily wages.
"As per the record of the district police, nothing adverse has come to notice against them except one person namely Mohd Hussain who has been arrested at police station Dera Bassi and is presently lodged in Sangrur jail," the affidavit said.
Similarly, according to the record, five Bangladeshi nationals and 74 Pakistani nationals are currently residing in the state, it added.
The Punjab government has said that, "It is worthwhile to mention here that sincere efforts are being made by Government of Punjab to repatriate these Bangladeshi and Pakistani nationals to their respective countries."
"During the last 10 years, 94 Pakistani nationals and 115 Bangladeshi nationals (including 11 children) have been deported back to their respective countries from Punjab after following due procedure and law of the land," the affidavit said.
With PTI inputs