Seven Jhuggis (shacks) of Rohingya Muslims were allegedly torched by miscreants in Bhagwati Nagar area of Jammu early Friday, just days after a Rohingya family was thrashed and threatened to leave the state.
Dolu Hussain, whose jhuggi was also reduced to ashes, said that he heard some noise before the fire erupted in the area.
“I heard some noise and asked my son to check it out. He went out but didn’t see any one as it was quite dark. After some time, the jhuggis were set on fire,” said 70-year-old Hussain.
However, police officials have ruled out the sabotage.
“No one has so far registered a complaint. As per our preliminary investigation, it seems to be a case of short circuit. Had it been a case of intentional fire, the damages would have been more serious,” said SHO Nawabad Neeraj Bhagat.
Nine Rohingya families comprising about 45 people have put up jhuggis on a plot opposite Jammu Yatri Bhawan - a base camp for Amarnath yatra.
Rakib Ali, a local resident who owns the plot said a Hindu family from Bihar has also put up jhuggi there.
Each family pays a rent of about Rs 1000 and Rs 300 electricity charges, said Ali.
About 5000 Rohingyas are putting up in the Jammu city, mainly on its outskirts.
Last week, President Chamber of Commerce and Industry Jammu Rakesh Gupta had issued a statement calling for identification and killing of Rohingyas.
Following widespread condemnation, especially from his Kashmir counterparts, Gupta retracted the statement and said that he meant to ‘identify’ and ‘kill’ the issue.
Earlier this week, a Rohingaya family in Patta Bohri was allegedly thrashed and threatened to leave Jammu.
The Rohingyas putting up in Bhagwati Nagar said some families living in the adjacent plot were forced to move out after some people threatened them.
“I don’t know why it happened. I had come here because of the problem in our country (Burma). We will return once things limp back to normal there. It would be good if the Modi government gives us space and time to stay here for some time, till we return,” said Fatima Khatoon.