Hyderabad: It seems like there is no end to the suffering of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar, who have been struggling to survive in makeshift camps in Hyderabad.
About 4,000 refugees in the city live in constant fear and are once again uncertain about their future after Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said about 40,000 Rohingyas living in India as illegal immigrants would have to be deported.
In Hyderabad, the Rohingyas are camped in Balapur, Kishan Bagh, Jalpalli, Hafeez Baba Nagar and Shakur Nagar in the Old City. While most of them were issued the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) refugee cards that might protect them, there are still over 500 refugees who have applied for the cards and are waiting to get the refugee recognisation.
“It is a slow process. It takes about three months for UNHRC to do the background checks and issue the cards,” Mazhar Hussain, director of Confederation of Voluntary Associations (COVA), an NGO working with the Rohingya refugees, said. “While there is a chance that the UNHRC cards might protect them from being deported, it depends on what the Supreme Court says,” he said.
Two Rohingya immigrants approached the Supreme Court, urging it to direct the Centre not to deport them to Myanmar. The tension intensified after the Centre instructed all State governments to constitute a task force to identify illegal Rohingya migrants.
While the State government plans to start the screening process, the Rohingya Muslims are eagerly waiting for the Supreme Court’s decision, which is likely on September 11. “We can do nothing but wait for the Supreme Court decision and follow the instructions. It is only because of some of them who come and stay in the city illegally, the Rohingyas might get affected and be stripped of their basic rights,” Hussain said.