Updated: November 30, 2017 8:19:35 am
Weeks after the Centre submitted in Supreme Court that continued stay of Rohingya refugees is “seriously harming national security”, BSF Director General K K Sharma on Wednesday said that the force has so far not found anything to link Rohingya people apprehended with terror groups.
He, however, added that intelligence agencies have such information, and he has “no reason to doubt them”. Sharma said the BSF has apprehended 87 Rohingya refugees this year until October 31, and sent 76 of them back to Bangladesh.
He said BSF personnel have interrogated many Rohingya refugees but had not found anything related to terrorism. “In our assessment, no link of Rohingya refugees with terror activities or groups has emerged…. We have not found any arms or ammunition on Rohingya (refugees) apprehended by us…. But intelligence agencies have given such inputs. I have no reason to doubt them,” Sharma said at the annual media conference ahead of the BSF Raising Day.
Calling it “complicated” issue, the BSF D-G said, “They (Rohingya people) have been declared as non-citizens and stripped of (all) rights — they are facing violence and persecution in Myanmar for several years. This has led to mass exodus into Bangladesh and other areas, and we are aware there could be spillovers into India. “
He said it is BSF’s job to stop illegal immigration — whether from Bangladesh or anywhere else. “As per my information, there are 9-10 lakh Rohingya (people) in Bangladesh. We know some of it will spill over. We have increased vigil on the border. We are apprehending Rohingya (refugees) and pushing them back — we don’t want to arrest them, as that creates a liability here.”
The BSF chief said the force has asked the Home Ministry to raise five more battalions to tighten security on Bangladesh border.
In a written statement issued to the media — Sharma said it was based on information from “sister agencies” — BSF sought to draw a pattern of Rohingya influx. “The interrogation of apprehended Rohingyas has revealed that they have been staying in refugee camp at Cox’s Bazaar in Bangladesh, where there is no basic amenities available so they do not want to settle there,” according to the statement. “Agents allure these Rohingyas with good job opportunities in India and motivate that they will work with their own Muslim community in states such as Jammu and Kashmir, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal…”
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.