Jammu: A group of intellectuals and prominent citizens of Jammu met at the Amar Singh Club in Jammu, to articulate a response to the emerging socio-political situation in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
The meeting was presided over by Lt. General (Retd.) P.S.Mehta, an expert on defence and strategic affairs, and was attended by Brigadier Anil Gupta, spokesperson of the BJP in Jammu, Ashwani Kumar Chrungoo of the Panun Kashmir organisation, Prof. K.L.Bhatia a law graduate and an academician and Advocate Ankur Sharma, a well known lawyer among others.
Lt.Gen. P.S. Mehta, who hails from Kashmir, expressed serious concern over the illegal immigration and settlement of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar in the Jammu region. He said Rohingya refugees pose a security threat and there is a need to develop a comprehensive response to deal with the issue.
He congratulated the Government of India for its stand on the Rohingya issue. He said that there is an imperative need to bring out a report on the subject, stating clearly as to how these illegal immigrations took place and to identify those responsible for the transportation and settlement of foreign refugees in a sensitive border state after crossing almost fifteen states.
Brig. Anil Gupta said that there cannot be any threat to the internal security graver than the organised settlement of illegal immigrants like the Rohingyas in Jammu and Kashmir.
"The presence of these refugees has given a new dimension to the crime scenario in not less than seven states of the country including Jammu and Kashmir," he said.
The Jammu and Kashmir state has been pin-pointed as the "ultimate safe haven" for these illegal immigrants.
Advocate Ankur Sharma, questioned the settlement of Rohingyas in Jammu and Kashmir when West Pakistan refugees, already residing in the state since the partition of the country, have not been given state subject rights.
Prof. K.L.Bhatia expressed apprehension about the emerging pattern of bringing about a demographic change in the Jammu region. This, he felt, was done with a view to further separatist and fissiparous designs in the Jammu region.
Ashwani Kumar Chrungoo said that an overwhelming constituency in the country favours the abrogation of Article 370 and 35A. They are on the same page as the majority nationalist population of Jammu and Kashmir state is on the subject.
The people of all other states favour the abrogation of these Articles from the Indian constitution as they tend to create a state within a state and are responsible for creating a constitutional justification for secession and separatism.
The group decided to hold frequent brainstorming sessions and offer advice to the government on issues that are central to Jammu and Kashmir.