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India sees threat from Rohingyas’ terror links

PMO reviews security after UNHRC criticism

From CK Nayak

NEW DELHI: Amid cry of human rights violations over alleged atrocities on Rohingyas in Myanmar, India has taken a serious note of the hardline elements in the community renewing links with Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) of Pakistan and its neighbouring Bangladesh counterparts, which rings alarm bells for India’s North East.
The chief of HuJI, a major terror network in Pakistan and Bangladesh, is also a Pakistani national of Rohingya origin. Top Pakistani terror group commanders visited a conference organised earlier in Bangladesh by Rohingya militants, a high-level meeting at the PMO recently noted.
Additionally, Pakistani al-Qaeda operative called Maulana Ustad Wazeer visited Thailand last month to train Rohingya militants. Intelligence officials are also trying to determine if a Rohingya in Kashmir was the guide for terrorists who crossed the border last month for a major attack on a police compound in Pulwama in which eight security personnel were killed.
Meanwhile, Manipur has increased vigilance along the state’s border with Myanmar, fearing a possible influx of Rohingyas. The state shares 364-km border with the neighbouring country.
“Security forces have been patrolling the border round the clock and an alert has been sounded for border town Moreh,” sources said.
An intelligence report reviewed by PMO officials concluded that penetration of Pakistan-based terrorist outfits into Rohingya community is a serious emerging threat as the same would ultimately be used for targeting India, mainly the North East, which is close to both Myanmar and Bangladesh.
The meeting was called after India was named and shamed for its stand on Rohingyas at the United Nations on Monday by its chief Antonio Guterres.
India currently has about 40,000 Rohingyas who have escaped in recent years from the rising violence against them in Myanmar and entered the country through the North East border. Most of them are settled in Jammu, Hyderabad and in and around Delhi.
But officials say there has been no great spike in arrival in India in the last few weeks. At least 1,25,000 Rohingyas have fled Myanmar’s western state of Rakhine to adjacent Bangladesh after the military cracked down on Rohingya insurgents who attacked an army base and dozens of police posts.
Minister of state for Home Kiren Rijiju also reacted saying this chorus of branding India as villain on Rohingya issue is a calibrated design to tarnish its image. “It undermines India’s security,” he added.
Meanwhile, in a diametrically opposite stand, the Centre has agreed to grant citizenship to nearly 1 lakh Chakma and Hajong refugees, who came from erstwhile East Pakistan five decades ago. They are living in camps mostly in Arunachal Pradesh, Rijiju’s home state.

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