Major fire at a slum housing Rohingyas near Jammu, more than two dozen huts gutted

Published : April 06, 2021 17:57 IST

At a makeshift Rohingya camp on the outskirts of Jammu in March. Photo: Channi Anand/AP

Amid the raging Rohingya deportation controversy, more than two dozen shanties were gutted in a major fire at a slum housing Rohingya Muslims. No one has been reported injured in the fire. The incident took place at the outskirts of Jammu on April 5.

According to officials, the fire started at the Maratha Mohalla in Trikuta Nagar near Jammu. The fire broke out in one of the shacks in the wee hours and, within no time, engulfed the nearby wooden huts. An early investigation carried out by the police could not ascertain the cause of the fire. The Fire and Emergency Services Department responded to the call and rushed its tenders to douse the flame, the officials told the media.

Mustafa, one of the people living in the Rohingya slum, was quoted by local newspapers as saying, “The fire broke out in one of the vacant Juggi's around 1 p.m. and spread to adjoining huts. We could only manage to save our lives, leaving behind our belongings which got gutted in the blaze”.

India recently started the process of deportation of Rohingyas. The exercise of identifying Rohingya immigrants who are “illegally” staying in Jammu and Kashmir was in full swing in March, with the Union Territory administration collecting biometric and other details of members of the community.

On March 6, the Jammu and Kashmir authorities rounded up as many as 168 Rohingyas, including women and children, from their makeshift camps/shelters in Jammu.

The Rohingyas are a persecuted community in Myanmar who speak the Bangla language and have been at the receiving end of the Junta regime, which was recently in the news for its military coup. Civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been detained by the military regime, did little to improve the Rohingyas’ condition in Myanmar while her party was in power, attracting worldwide condemnation.

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