A Rohangiya couple released after spending three days at holding centre in Hiranagar


Video: https://youtu.be/8t1I8f08OHM

Jammu: After having spent three days in Hiranagar sub jail which has been converted into a holding centre to keep “illegal Rohangiya immigrants’’, Ismat Ara and her husband Mohammad Hussain have returned to their tin shed in Kiryani Talab on the outkirt of Jammu city, but their life is yet to become normal as the fear to getting detained once again by the police keeps haunting them.

Haleema (10) along with her 3-year-old sister waiting for her parents who are still in Hiranagar holding centre.

“No one gave us the reason when police detained us at M A Stadium on Saturday and shifted to Hiranagar. Similarly, when they released us on Tuesday, no one told us anything,’’ Ismat Ara said. Looking on were her two children, Jaibullah (8) and Asma Jan (3).

About their days at the holding centre, she said it was like “one being put inside a cage’’. “We kept on telling officials that our children were all alone at home and may be hungry and they shall help us making a phone call to them, but no one listened,’’ she added.

Her husband Mohammad Hussain along with Mohammad-ul-Hassan (11) and Noor Hassan (7) was not there as, according to neighbors,  he was avoiding visitors as the police had instructed him not to talk to anybody especially media.

Duo were among 168 Rohangiya men and women who were detained Saturday after being found without valid documents during a police exercise to collect biometric details of the refugees from Myanmar. The JK POST had on Sunday reported as to how four hungry children aged between 4 – 11 years, under the tin shed were waiting for their parents  – Mohammad Hussain and Ismat Ara who had come here some eight years ago. Noor Hassan and Asma Jan were born here.

“When our parents did not return home on yesterday, we cried and fell asleep without having food. I still don’t knowwhere they are or when they will return,’’ 11-year-old Mohammad-ul-Hassan had told The Indian Express on Sunday morning. Looking on were his siblings Jaibulla (8), Noor Hassan (7) and Asma Jan.

Though police have stopped shifting Rohangyia refugees to the holding centre at Hiranagar, life is yet to become normal at the Rohangiya settlements here. With cops collecting details of all the Rohangiya staying at different places in Jammu, anger and despair prevailed among the latter.

In the adjoining row of tin sheds were waiting two little girls – Haleema (10) and her sister Noora Bibi (3), for their parents Ibrahim and Sajida who along with their eight-year-old daughter Saminara were lodged at the holding centre in Hiranagar on Saturday.  Neighbours said that Sajida was in her advanced stage of pregnancy.

“Dar lagta hai,’’ (It feels scary during night), Haleema said, adding that both go in the neighbourhood during night and “if someone gives food, we eat else we remain hungry’’.

“If you want to lodge us at some place then shift all of us including children there,’’ said Mubarak Begum who was left along with a new born baby at Kiryani Talab as her husband also was among those lodged at the holding centre since Saturday. “We had gone to M A Stadium as police had called us there for verification. However, they asked me to return as the baby was not well and took my husband to some place,’’ she added.

“We are not here to stay permanently, but we cannot return to our country until situation becomes congenial,’’ said a Rohangiya. “Now we hear that government wants to deport all of us to Myanmar from where we had already fled following atrocities by military junta. It is better, they gather us at one place and kill all of us,’’ he added.