Five Rohingya Muslims including a woman who were recently granted bail after serving months in a jail in Manipur were detained again by Assam Police in Guwahati on Tuesday.
Police said at least two of them were on their way to Delhi to register as refugees with the UNHCR, the UN refugee agency.
According to Himanta Das, Superintendent of Police, Government Railway Police, Assam, the group was apprehended by the Railway Protection Force on Tuesday morning from the Guwahati railway station.
Das said the police found court orders with the group detailing how they have been granted bail recently.
While two of them were granted bail on May 2, another two came out on bail on April 30, Das said citing the documents which showed they have been granted bail for the Manipur Police failed to file a charge sheet within the stipulated time.
Zuber (21) said he came out on bail earlier in May after he was arrested by the Manipur police from Moreh near the Myanmar border in May 2018. “A tout who helped us cross took us to Moreh saying there is work. The Police arrested us there and put us in jail. The Rohingya who were released earlier helped us get bail,” he said.
“I was going to Delhi to collect UN card (UNHCR refugee cards),” he said adding he fled Rakhine state due to violence and came to India “since everyone was headed to either Jammu or Hyderabad or Delhi from our neighbourhood.”
Arofa (24) said she was travelling to “see Delhi since everyone talks about it.” She fled with her mother to Bangladesh after her father was killed in the violence in 2012. She later came to Manipur where she was arrested in 2018.
The Assam police are in a quandary over whether they should arrest the group again under the Foreigners Act. “As foreign nationals they should not have been granted bail in the first place. But we are examining the legality and will decide accordingly,” said Das.
The group of five is currently in the custody of the Government Railway Police.