A South 24-Parganas village that had welcomed 109 Rohingya refugees — in four batches — is scared to accept any more.
Because of political turbulence and constant police watch, a group of 80 Rohingyas who had arrived at the Kuruli village refugee camp in Baruipur last Tuesday were not allowed to settle there, with the villagers driving them out.
“We have been regularly receiving threats from a political outfit for giving shelter to unknown foreigners,” said a middleaged villager who lives near the refugee camp. “To make matters worse, cops are coming to our village almost every day and are asking a lot of questions to women and children. We are sympathetic to the Rohingyas and are not asking the ones who have already settled here to go away, but we don’t want any more.”
With the large group of new Rohingya refugees pushed back from the village, help came from a minority federation, which has settled these people at a temporary shed in Ghutairy Sharif, around 10km from the existing camp.
But even this federation has asked the NGO in Kuruli, which was facilitating movement of Rohingya refugees from other parts of India to the state, not to bring any more refugees at this moment.
“The political pressure and repeated police interrogation has scared the villagers and the settlers. As a result, the new batch of Rohingyas has been settled at a separate camp in Ghutiary Sharif,” said Md Kamruzzaman, general secretary, All Bengal Minority Youth Federation.
Last Tuesday, a truckload of 80 Rohingya refugees belonging to 27 families had reached Kuruli village, around 45km from the city. They had come from Mewat village in Haryana’s Nuh district, where they lived in refugee camps for several months.