Jammu: The Jammu and Kashmir government has started an exercise for the deportation of Rohingya refugees settled in the Jammu region by sending around 168 Myanmar nationals to Hiranagar Jail, which is being referred to as holding centre.
The holding centres with a capacity to hold 250 people were set up by a Home Department notification on Friday under Section 3(2)e of Foreigners Act. “These immigrants were not holding valid passports required in terms of Section (3) of the Passports Act,” a senior government official said, adding that they were in the process of identifying more such immigrants.
Police said that after verification, 168 Rohingya refugees staying in Jammu and Kashmir were sent to the Hiranagar jail. The police described the Hiragar jail as a holding center for Rohingya, saying they have invoked Section 3(2) e of the Foreigners Act.
The police insisted that the immigrants were not holding valid travel documents required in terms of Section (3) of the Passports Act. They said the exercise of identifying more such immigrants is still in progress. The government had ordered shifting of all inmates lodged in Hiranagar Jail of Kathua district to other prisons of Jammu and Kashmir.
Sources said the refugees were brought from Jammu to the sub-jail in buses on Saturday evening. The sub-jail had been prepared for keeping the Rohingya refugees “staying illegally” nearly a week ago, when all the prisoners and undertrials lodged there were shifted to other jails.
According to a senior police officer, all the refugees were living in J&K without valid documents.