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Rohingyas threat to national security : Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh

Terming Rohingya refugees as a threat to national security, Union home minister Rajnath Singh said on Tuesday that the issue will be dealt with a firm hand.

"The illegal foreign immigrants will be strongly dealt with," Rajnath said in reply to a question about Rohingya Muslim refugees living in different parts of the country, including Jammu.

In August, the Centre had declared that the Rohingyas pose serious security challenges as they may be recruited by terror groups, and asked the state governments to identify and deport them.

A communication issued by the Union ministry of home affairs said the infiltration of these refugees from the Rakhine state of Myanmar to several parts of the country infringes on the rights of Indian citizens, besides burdening the limited resources of the country.

Last month, Union MoS for home Kiren Rijiju had said that over 40,000 Rohingyas staying illegally in India were largely located in Jammu, Hyderabad, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi-NCR and Rajasthan.

Singh's comment at a press conference in Jammu - illegally inhabited by over 6,000 Rohingyas - on the last day of his four-day visit to the Valley, reflected deliberation and review of the Centre's policy so far in dealing with the refugee crisis.

In light of the repeated ceasefire violations by Pakistan along the Line of Control (LoC) and International Border (IB), Singh said it seems that Pakistan doesn't want to normalise relations with India. Breaching the truce has become a routine affair for Pakistan, with over 400 ceasefire violations reported every year since 2014, he added.

To ensure the safety of civilians inhabiting the border areas, the Centre has decided to construct bunkers. "80 bunkers have already been built and more are coming up," Singh assured, adding that the security situation in the Valley has significantly improved as compared to 2016.

Singh said the Centre will provide an ex gratia of Rs 5 lakh to the next of kin cross-border firing victims, or those suffering 50% disability. An expert group will be constituted to assess the security situation in the state, as well as address the grievances of the civilians. "The group will also report on the utilisation of funds sanctioned for various projects under the Border Area Development," he added.

Regarding the abrogation of Article 35A, which empowers the Jammu and Kashmir's state legislature to define "permanent residents" of the state, and grant special rights and privileges to them, the home minister said, "The matter is sub-judice.

Some NGOs have filed writ petitions challenging Article 35A. The Centre will take into account the aspirations of the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh before deciding on anything."

On Monday, however, Singh had said in Srinagar, "Some elements with vested interests are creating a hype about the issue. The central government hasn't done anything in this regard. We'll never do anything against the sentiments of the people of Jammu and Kashmir."

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