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Tamang, mosque dismisses Rohingya rumour

Statesman News Service | Kalimpong/Kurseong |

The Muslim community belonging to the Anjuman Islamia mosque at Thakur Bari in Kalimpong, and chairman of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration Board of Administrators Binoy Tamang on Saturday put to rest speculations that a group of Rohingya Muslims have winded up to the Hills.

Addressing a press conference in Kalimpong on Saturday, mosque officials said that the people in Muslim attire who entered Kalimpong were not Rohingyas, but a team from Sonarpur in District 24 Parganas in Kolkata, and that these people wander from one place to another to give discourses and understand the Islam religion and culture in depth.

“We travel across the country once a year, talking and understanding Islam,” the leader of the visiting team, Shek Sahinsha, said.

“We travel to any part of the country and stay in mosques for 3-4 days and discuss our religion and culture. We have come here from Kolkata via Siliguri and we will return as our work is done here. We did not know that we would fall prey to such allegations,” he said.The 15 persons in the team also produced their Aadhar and voter identity cards to prove that they are bonafide Indian citizens.

Masud Sultan, the secretary of the Kalimpong mosque, said that the video that had gone viral and the allegations were totally baseless.

It may be mentioned here that the video showing a group of Muslims getting down from a bus in Kalimpong had gone viral very recently, fuelling speculations that they may be Rohingya refugees.

Fugitive leader of the Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha Bimal Gurung had alleged that the state may have been trying to have Rohingyas settled down in the region, while leader of the Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League, Pratap Khati, had written to the Kalimpong DM and the SP, urging them to look into the matter.

“This is a threat to local inhabitants. The government of India has a clear stand about Rohingyas and their entry into Indian Territory is strictly forbidden as they are a threat to national security,” Mr Khati had said. “A mosque has a Zamad (team), and they have to go places, discussing and talking about our religion.” Sultan said.