‘Throw us into the Yamuna rather than return us to Myanmar’, says Rohingya

New Delhi: Rohingya muslims who faced persecution in their mother country, Myanmar, have exiled into neighbouring countries Bangladesh and India.

In India, they have settled in different parts of country including the Capital city New Delhi.
When asked to Imam Hussain, 70, a Rohingya Muslim, about the possibility of them returning to their homes, he asks “Return to what?”.

He recalled that “When we stepped out of our houses in Myanmar, we did not know if we would ever return.” Hussain now lives in South Delhi along with 47 other families in a cluster of huts in a plot of land owned by Zakat foundation. He sustains his living by selling vegetables.

Recently, under the orders of Ministry of Home Affairs, the Delhi Police had circulated forms to the Rohingya refugees to ascertain their identification. The refugees fear that they may be deported to their homeland, which they do not want to return until the circumstances change.

The Rohingya refugees say that those forms circulated by the Delhi police, ask for past and present information. One of the residents of refugee camp said that “We started filling out the forms at 6 in the evening. Entering the details of 205 people, including 80 children, took the entire night and we were able to finally complete the submission of the papers only by noon the next day.”

These refugees were granted long-term visas when they landed in Delhi in 2012. These visas were renewed every year by the Foreigners Regional Registration Office. However, this year all those who applied for renewal were asked to wait. This has further added to their angst.

Rohingya camp refugees are keeping their hopes alive that the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, India’s Supreme Court and government of India would come to their rescue.

They narrate terrifying tales of killings, rape and torture that led to exodus of Rohingyas from their homeland to seek refuge in Bangladesh and India. They say that Rohingyas living in other parts of country like camps in Jammu, have now begun to leave the country due to the hostility they are subjected to here.