The Jammu Police on Monday began the process of reuniting Rohingya children with their parents who are in a detention centre, hours after some media reports highlighted the plight of these young people.
“We have started the process of sending such parents back. The idea was never to separate families,” Jammu inspector general Mukesh Singh told News18.
Out of 175 people who have been taken to the centre in Jammu jail, 15 had left behind their children. Jammu Police now plan to verify their details and send them back to their wards.
When asked how the verification will be done in the absence of any documents with the Rohingya detainees, Singh said the local SHO (Station House Officer) will be tasked with the responsibility of checking the claims of abandoned children, and also look into the residential details of the people who will be sent back.
A section of the media had highlighted a case of four children (aged 11, 8, 7 and 4) who said they had nothing to eat after their mother and father — Mohammed Hussain and Ismat Ara — were detained on Saturday.
Jammu Police officials said they had taken note of such cases, but the process of reuniting families may take time. “Verification will take some time. We are trying to ensure this happens as soon as possible,” a top police officer incharge of the process told News18.
A group of 175 Rohingyas has been detained and taken to the Hira Nagar holding centre in Jammu jail, after they failed to show documents permitting their stay in India. Biometric and other details of the detainees were collected to verify their identities.
The Union government has said Rohingyas will be deported back to Myanmar, but in the post-coup circumstances there, it could take more time. There are 6,000-7,000 Rohingya Muslims living in illegal camps in Jammu alone.
Deportation requires verification of their identity by the embassy of Myanmar. Rohingyas fear death if they are sent back in the current circumstances. Most had fled their country in the face of alleged persecution by the Myanmar government, and have been living in Jammu for the last six to eight years.