Cover Story Jammu & Kashmir The Lead

How J&K jail was converted into holding centre for Rohingya refugees?

Srinagar, Apr 02: The administration of Jammu & Kashmir Union Territory denotified Hira Nagar sub-jail as a prison last month before declaring it as a holding centre for lodging Rohingya refugees there.

Documents in possession of news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) reveal that Home department of J&K issued a notification on March 5 to denotify Hira Nagar sub-jail as prison. “In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section(1) of section 3 of the Prison Act, 1894(Act No. 9 of 1894), the Government hereby denotifies the structure(s)raised over land bearing Khasra No. 159 village Dhangroli, Tehsil Hira Nagar , district Kathua as prison with immediate effect,” reads the notification.

On the same day, another notification was issued by the Home department to declare the erstwhile jail as holding centre under the Foreigners Act.

“ In exercise of the powers conferred by clause(d) of sub-section(2) of section 3 of the Foreigners Act,1946 read with S.O 591 dated 19th April 1958, issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs , Government of India, the land bearing bearing Khasra No. 159 village Dhangroli, Tehsil Hira Nagar , district Kathua and the structures raised thereon is declaring as the “ Holding Centre Hira Nagar’” for lodging of the illegal immigrants, as defined under section 2(b) of the Citizenship Act, 1955,” reads the notification.

“ Further, in terms of section 3(2) of the Foreigners Act, 1946, all illegal immigrants detected by law enforcement agencies will be lodged in the said holding centre and it shall be ensured that these persons are physically available at all times for their expeditious deportation as soon as travel documents are issued after due process of their nationality verification.”

As already reported, administration of J&K last month detained more than 150 Rohingya refugees and lodged them at holding centre Hira Nagar.

The Rohingya people have been described as “one of the world’s most persecuted minorities” by the UN.

 

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