Jammu: Caught in between the ‘Devil and Deep Blue Sea’, Rhongiyas in Jammu, facing the wrath in exile are dumbfounded by Police threats to vacate the area they stay in. Rhongiyas-the citizens of nowhere- have been directed by the Police authorities immediately vacate the areas in Jammu city like Railway route, opposite to Zorawar Singh auditorium, Jammu University.
Similar Police threats have been reported from the city outskirts like Kalyani Talab Narwal, where over thousands of Rhongiya refugees dwell in slums. However, it has been found that they dwell on the private land, paying full rent to the actual land owners. “We pay Rs 900 per month rent on the land we stay. We toil hard, so constructed card-board shacks,” Kareem, a refugee at Canal side opposite Jammu University says. Although struggling in their worst of times, the hardworking Rohingyas prefer work over begging. Despite their tough conditions they work as daily wagers. Most of them work as ‘Safai Karamcharis’ as ‘Kabadiwallahs’ and the rest of them are working as laborers at Railway Station.
Deputy Superintendent of Jammu East, S. S. Sambiyal acknowledges the ‘vacation orders’, however provides the security issues as the reason. “Militants could become security threat in guise of these refugees. So as a precaution, I have issued orders to all refugees of the area to vacate,” Sambiyal says. Deputy Superintendent, Jammu East himself doesn’t know where to drive these refugees.
“That’s not my business, I am concerned about the security of the area,” He asserts. Surprisingly, no order has been issued from higher Authorities regarding the vacation of refugees in Jammu city.
Few in Myanmar accept that the Rohingyas are true Burmese, although many they have lived in Myanmar for generations. Rather they are subject to racial discrimination as “Bengalis”, and, under 1982 law, are denied citizenship. The Rohingya, meanwhile, are caught between a hostile home, where Monks have gone wild against them and a neighboring nations wheren they are refused rehabilitation that flouts the international law.Their statelessness dates to the 1982 Citizen Law, which excluded the Rohingya and stipulated that people of Indian and Chinese descent, who could not prove their ancestry predated the 1824-1948 colonial period were not entitled to citizenship. Rohingya of Arakan, were poor farmers, just like their Buddhist neighbours, and their right to Burmese citizenship was unquestioned until the Burmese military seized power in 1962. The military dictator, Ne Win revoked the citizenship of all Rohingyas in 1982, thus begins the journey of ‘CITIZENS OF NOWHERE’.
However, the army attacked the Rohingya and drove some 800,000 people, out from their native State from 1978 till 2012, in a campaign marked by widespread killings, mass rape and the destruction of mosques. In 2001, monks spread anti-Muslim pamphlets that resulted in the burning of Muslim homes, mosques and killing of Muslims in Burma now Myanmar. After then, the whole country witnessed the carnage, loot and rape of Rhongiya Muslims, that compelled them to fled their homes. Now as the refugees are facing expulsion from here too, things are getting worse for these ‘citizens of nowhere’ to survive.