Rohingya Islamic preachers who attended that Nizamuddin Markaz in Delhi have taken shelter in West Bengal with the active support of Tablighi Jamaat and ruling TMC party leaders.
- Suman Bhattacharyya
A considerable number of Rohingyas entered India on the occasion of the Tablighi Jamaat congregation at Nizamuddin during 13- 15 March 2020. Following the religious gathering, a considerable section of these Rohingyas reached Kolkata by train. Aware that the Kolkata Police was desperately looking for them in the wake of the Covid crisis (obviously not knowing who they were), they took shelter in different mosques in the city.
It was soon found out the mosques in the Muslim ghettos of the city had sheltered several foreign nationals who had participated in the Jamaat at Nizamuddin. Along with Rohingyas were people from other countries. Fourteen Rohingyas were recovered from a mosque in Colootolla, the Metiabruz mosque was reported to have sheltered 13 men from Thailand, 9 men from Malaysia and 4 men from Indonesia. A mosque from Razabazar, which had sheltered foreign nationals, including Rohingyas, was also under the scanner of the police. The recovered Jamaatis were all sent for quarantine by the administration, where again they displayed adequate arrogance and disregard for the mechanisms devised by the country to fight Corona.
The Rohingyas have a deep connection with the ideologies professed and practised by the Tabligh. The latter is believed to have fuelled the militancy of the Rohingyas and instigated them into resisting the local customs and practices of Myanmar. According to PEW Research, the global network of Tabligh played a significant role in mobilizing the Rohingyas into militancy.
Almost 1000 Rohingyas had attended a Tabligh conference in a mosque near the capital city of Kualalampur in Malaysia, between 27 February and 01 March, 2020. A considerable number among them had flown to Delhi to join the conference at Nizamuddin on 13 March.
Why had they fled towards Bengal after the Nizamuddin meeting? Understandably because, as has been alleged for the last 3 years, this is considered to be a very safe zone. The Rohingyas take recourse to waterways and enter into India from Bangladesh through the Sunderbans. As a result, certain areas of the border districts of the North and the South 24 Parganas, like Baruipur, Mallikpur and Sandeshkhali, have become significant pockets of Rohingya settlement. It has been continuously alleged that the TMC Block President of Sandeshkhali, Sk Shahjahan, organizes camps for the infiltrating Rohingyas and offer them illegal assistance, including getting ration cards for them. Equipped with such facilities, the Rohingyas then confidently move towards the Indian mainland from the margins.
Sources in the state administration of West Bengal have expressed grave doubt if the Rohingyas recovered from the Colootolla mosque were all that there had been, or whether some Rohingyas had dispersed into the other districts of West Bengal, carrying the germs of terrorism and corona with them. According to the state administration, as briefed by the Home Secretary, the state had prepared a list of 73 people who had arrived at Kolkata from Nizamuddin and has successfully been able to send all of them to quarantine. These 73 people comprise Rohingya, Indonesian, Malaysian and Thai nationals.
Interestingly, when the Kolkata Police was doing this work, it was discovered that 21 and 12 foreign nationals were sheltered at two mosques at Katwa (Purba Burdwan district) and North Dinajpur respectively. Subhra Chattopadhyay, a RSS pracharak from Katwa, lodged the complaint with the police. He had also prepared a comprehensive list of all the 21 people sheltered in the mosque in Katwa. The state administration, however, has not issued any statement regarding the nationalities of those recovered from these two places.
There is no doubt that the Rohingyas are creating havoc in the country with the patronage of Tablighi Jamaat.