70-Year-Old Rohingya Woman, Detained Since March, Dies in Jammu Jail

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Noor Aisha was among around 200 Rohingya refugees, including women and children, who were detained from their camps, claiming them to be living illegally.

Zafar Aafaq | Clarion India

NEW DELHI — A 70-year-old Rohingya woman held in Hiranagar jail in Jammu and Kashmir’s Samba district died on Monday, jail authorities said.

The deceased has been identified as Noor Aisha who was in jail since early March.

An official at the office of jail superintendent told Clarion India that Aisha was a patient of Asthma and died a natural death. “As of now the body is in hospital in the custody of jail authorities,” the official said. “I don’t know about the plans of last rites and how the body will be disposed of.”

Aisha was among around 200 Rohingya refugees, including women and children, who were detained in early March from their camps in Jammu. The authorities said that they would be deported to Myanmar, their home country, arguing that they are living illegally in Jammu and Kashmir.

The action has drawn widespread condemnation from activists and human rights groups. Lawyers moved the Supreme Court of India seeking halt to their deportation and their release from jail.

While the Supreme Court did make their deportation conditional — following due procedure — there was no word on their release.

Earlier in May, a Rohingya woman fractured her leg after collapsing on the bathroom floor. She had to be rushed to hospital in Jammu where she was admitted for weeks before being discharged and again put under detention.

Reports of coronavirus detected in over 50 refugees held inside the jail emerged in recent weeks.

Amidst such crackdown measures and Covid crisis Rohingya refugees are facing a difficult time in India. The Indian government’s vaccination policy does not cover refugees as  Aadhar number or a similar residence proof has been made mandatory for the Covid-19  jab.

 

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