India’s perception that Rohingyas have terror links with ISIS could be real : India, News


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    Union Home Ministry in its affidavit to SC had called Rohingyas a security threat.

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    Government said it had reports from security agencies and other credible sources.

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    The plight of Rohingyas has evoked strong emotions across the Muslim world.

The Union Home Ministry on Monday submitted its affidavit in the Supreme Court on the deportation of Rohingya immigrants to Myanmar and has called them a “security threat to India”.

In the affidavit, the government said it had reports from security agencies and other credible sources “indicating linkages of some of the unauthorised Rohingya immigrants with Pakistan-based terror organisations and similar organisations operating in other countries”.

Now, the government will submit a confidential report before the apex court on October 3, and  it is learnt that “the report will seek to establish the links between Rohingyas and terrorist organisations in Pakistan, and others jihadi groups like the Islamic state (ISIS) and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT)”.

The plight of the Rohingya, an Islamic minority in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, has evoked strong emotions across the Muslim world.

Many countries have protested against the persecution of the community, following a violent crackdown by the Myanmar army that left hundreds dead and sparked an exodus of more than 410,000 people from Rakhine to Bangladesh.

But as rights groups urge world leaders to impose sanctions on Myanmar’s military, which is accused of “ethnic cleansing”, a darker danger lies ahead.

It is in this context, India’s apprehension of Rohingya immigrants posing a security threat should be looked at.

Counter-terrorism experts say the crisis has attracted the attention of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), as well as Muslim militants and hardliners in Indonesia and Malaysia.

The fear is that, following the ongoing siege in the southern Philippine city of Marawi by Islamist militants, it  may result in another longstanding conflict in South-east Asia.

Malaysian counter-terrorism chief Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said earlier this week that ISIS is exploiting the Rohingya crisis to recruit more fighters, particularly from South-east Asia.

Malaysian police in Kelantan state, that shares a border with southern Thailand, has red flagged more than 100 “rat trails” used for smuggling, and has stepped up patrols there to prevent the illegal entry of Rohingya and “untoward incidents”.

Meanwhile in Indonesia, the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) had exhorted “jihadists” to travel to Rakhine to fight on behalf of the Rohingya. The FPI led has led many rallies against former Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, a Chinese-Christian politician, for insulting Islam earlier this year. This demonstrates its ability to mobilise hundreds of thousands of people in Indonesia.

In 2012 and 2015, Islamist militant organisations have exploited the Rohingya crisis for their cause, but the current conflict has drawn wider attention. This is because the crisis is unfolding at a time when ISIS is losing much of its stronghold in the Middle East and is trying to expand its hold in South Asia and South-east Asia.

India’s threat perception about Rohingya immigrants posing a security threat is therefore not unfounded.

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