Five Rohingya Muslims, including three women, have been arrested in Telangana on charges of illegally entering the country and getting Aadhaar cards and Indian passports by providing false information, the police said on Tuesday.
Based on specific information, a police team raided their houses in Zaheerabad town in Sangareddy district and arrested five people in the age group of 25-45 on Monday, they said.
Two Indian passports, five Aadhaar cards and voter IDs, which they had allegedly obtained by falsely representing themselves as Indian nationals, were seized from them, an official investigating the case told PTI over phone.
The Rohingyas entered the country several years ago through Bangladesh after crossing over from Myanmar and stayed in Kolkata, Delhi and Hyderabad, and later settled down in Zaheerabad where they were working as labourers, the official said.
All the five had got Aadhaar cards and voter IDs while two men managed to obtain Indian passports in 2018 from Hyderabad. A case under Section 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and relevant sections of Passport Act has been registered against them.
The five were produced before a court which remanded them to judicial custody, the police official added.
About 18,000 Rohingya refugees are registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and living in India. Of them, 4,000 of them are estimated to be living in refugee camps in Hyderabad's Balapur area.
In April this year, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs instructed the Telangana Chief Secretary and Director General of Police to screen Rohingyas and their contacts for COVID-19 on â€˜priorityâ€™ after receiving intelligence inputs that claimed some of the refugees visited the Tablighi Jamaat 'Ijtemaâ€™ at Mewat, Haryana and also attended the congregation at Nizamuddin Markaz in Delhi.
Two of them who attended the Delhi event later tested positive for the coronavirus.