GUWAHATI, Oct 8 - Though there were inputs about possible entry of Rohingya into the North East, no such movement has so far been noticed on the ground. But the border guarding forces have been kept on the alert after receiving the input.
Highly placed security sources told The Assam Tribune that an input was received about two weeks back about the possibility of exodus of substantial number of Rohingya into the North East, but the authenticity of the input could not be substantiated. However, not deciding to take any chance, the Central agencies and police forces kept a close watch on the situation and no such movement of Rohingya from either Myanmar or Bangladesh were noticed. The Railways have also been alerted to keep watch on possible movement of Rohingya from the region to other parts of the country.
Sources said that so far, the North East is not facing any threat from possible mass exodus of Rohingya as it would not be easy for them to enter the region from the locations where they are staying in Myanmar and Bangladesh. Sources pointed out that in the past, a few Rohingya managed to enter the region either through the India-Myanmar border or through the international border in Bangladesh through Tripura. But their number is not large and around 30 of them were caught in different parts of Assam and are now in jail.
Security sources said that it would not be easy for the Rohingya to cross over through the India-Myanmar border in large numbers because they would have to travel a long distance from the Rakhaine state in Myanmar where they are staying to reach the international border. Under the present circumstances in Myanmar, it would not be possible for them to travel in large numbers through the country to reach the border with India. However, the possibility of a handful of them making such an attempt cannot be ruled out.
Sources said that even during the mass exodus of Rohingya from Myanmar following the crackdown by Myanmar Army last year, very few managed to enter India and majority of them fled to Bangladesh.
According to an estimate, around 40,000 Rohingya are now staying illegally in India and majority of them are staying in places like Jammu, Hyderabad, Kanpur and outskirts of Delhi. Most of them came some time back and the Government of India is yet to take a decision on their future.
Giving an account of the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar, sources said that for ages the Rohingya were staying as second class citizens in Myanmar and they were not given citizenship rights. They initially formed a solidarity group to fight for their rights but the situation turned worse after the Rohingya formed an insurgent group called the Aarakan Rohingya Salvation Army and launched a few attacks on the security forces of Myanmar, which led to a massive crackdown by the Myanmar Army, forcing lakhs of Rohingya to escape to Bangladesh. According to security agencies, a few Pakistan based terrorist groups had helped in training the members of the militant group formed by the Rohingya.