The police in the Jammu division on Tuesday arrested 21 persons as part of a drive against undocumented foreigners and those harbouring them, PTI reported.

The campaign was launched to identify undocumented Rohingya migrants from Myanmar as well as Bangladeshi nationals.

The arrests were made in the districts of Kishtwar, Ramban, Poonch and Rajouri, the police said. Additionally, 10 Rohingya migrants and Bangladeshi citizens were booked in the Doda district.

Seven first information reports were registered at police stations in the Jammu division. Police personnel also carried out house-to-house searches and more than two dozen locations. During these searches, which were carried out in the presence of magistrates, the police seized documents such as PAN and Aadhaar cards and bank papers.

“Some locals have provided their plots of land to settle the outside immigrants,” Deputy Inspector General, Jammu-Samba-Kathua range, Shakti Pathak said, according to PTI. “We are checking and identifying these facilitators, who are also availing the government benefits for them.”

The police also detained 39 persons for questioning and said they were suspected to have helped the undocumented immigrants to live in the area.

“It is pertinent to mention here that investigation of the case has also been set into motion to ascertain the facilitators and government employees involved in providing Indian identity documents and other allied assistance to these foreigners so that such helping hands could be booked as well,” a statement by the office of the Inspector General of Police, Jammu read.

Described by the United Nations as “the most persecuted minority in the world”, Rohingya Muslims fleeing ethnic violence in their native Myanmar started arriving in Jammu city around 2011 and 2012.

In January 2017, the Jammu and Kashmir government put the total number of Rohingya Muslims living in the territory – mostly in the Jammu and Samba districts – at 5,743.

Also read: The cost of the long detention of Rohingyas in Jammu