Assam-based media outlets DY365, Asom Live 24, and NorthEast Now reported that 26 Rohingya Muslims were arrested in Guwahati with fake Aadhaar cards. “They were planning to move to Delhi,” wrote NorthEast Now.
Anchor Nandan Pratim Sharma Bordoloi, who has over 40,000 followers, claimed that 26 Rohingya Muslims were arrested by Paltanbazar police at Guwahati after they entered Assam illegally from Myanmar.
This claim was also made by DY365 editor Atanu Bhuyan, Assam-based media professional Sailendra Pandey and university professor Hari Om.
A keyword search on Google led us to multiple reports related to the incident in question. On September 12, 26 citizens of Myanmar were arrested in Guwahati. However, none of them belonged to the Rohingya community. This was reported by Assam Tribune, The Times of India, The Shillong Times, and The Sentinel. Assam Tribune and The Sentinel have listed the names of all 26.
TOI reported that 26 Myanmar nationals, including 10 women, were arrested under Indian Penal Code 468 (forgery), relevant sections of Foreigners Act, 1946, Passport (Entry into India) Act,1920 and Passport (Entry into India) Rules 1950.
The group was apprehended from Guwahati’s Kamrupa Lodge in the Rehabari area after the local police were tipped off. As per the police, the group drove down in two SUVs around 7 am from Mizoram capital Aizawl.
“Upon interrogation, it was found that they are citizens of [Falam district] Chin state of Myanmar and were on their way to Delhi to study Bible (theology). We recovered forged Indian documents such as Aadhaar and voter cards, which were made in Mizoram, from their possession,” according to the Assam police statement in TOI report.
Alt News spoke with the ACP at Pan Bazaar Police Station (1.5 km from Kamrupa Lodge). He said, “I can confirm that not a single person from the 26-member belongs to the Rohingya community. We interrogated each of them individually and learnt that they follow the Christian faith. We are following up with authorities in Myanmar for more details.”
Additionally, we also spoke with DCP Guwahati Central Police Station Rajveer Singh. He said, “In addition to English, some individuals are fluent in Mizo. They were travelling to Bible college in East Delhi.” Even Singh refuted the claim the group belongs to the Rohingya community.
The reader should note that Bordoloi posted a 2017 image of Rohingyas arrested in Tripura.
To conclude, Assam-based media outlets and journalists falsely reported that 26 Rohingya Muslims were arrested by the Guwahati police on September 12.