Millennium Post

We are Rohingyas, and we are not terrorists: Refugees in Kalindi Kunj

We are Rohingyas, and we are not terrorists: Refugees in Kalindi Kunj
NEW DELHI: 28-year-old Farooq is listening to clips of news channels on a mobile regarding the statements that Indian politicians are making on Rohingyas, whose fate hangs in the balance.
Will they be deported to Myanmar or be allowed to stay in India for some more time, the Rohingyas don't know.
The news that the Central government told the Supreme Court, in its affidavit, that the Rohingyas hold a security threat to India as they may be radicalised by the terror groups across the border has not gone well with members of the Rohingya community staying in dingy, tiny wooden rooms in a refugee camp in Kalindi Kunj.
"We are not terrorists; we are just victims of the circumstances. This could happen to anyone around the world. What proof does the Indian government have against us? We are helpless people who cannot defend themselves against such allegations aimed at sending us back," Farooq rues.
Almost every Rohingya in the Kalindi Kunj camp has his or her own tale of atrocities to share. Tears trickle down their eyes when they recall the struggle to flee their country Myanmar, leaving their loved ones behind, with who they are not in touch anymore.
Amina, in her fifties, runs a small grocery shop in the camp. She recalls that she had five sisters, until one was killed in the violence in Myanmar.
Three others fled to bangladesh and one has not been in touch since she left her country.
Her 17-year-old son Hussain studies in Class X in Don Bosco school in South east Delhi. "We have been given these UNHCR (United Nations High Commission for Refugees) after rigorous interviews. My mother and sisters were interviewed several times by officials of this agency before being handed over this card. If our background would have been shoddy, we would not be given these cards," Hussain tells Millennium Post.
Many at the camp believe that there is little they can do if the Indian government decides to send them back.
Haroon, a man in his late fifties, says that they have bought old TV sets to watch the developments in their case and keep them abreast with the latest news.
"Most of the time we keep on switching channels to know if there is any fresh development in Rohingya case. But one thing we can assure you, we are not terrorists, we are just victims of circumstances," he says.

Zafar Abbas

Zafar Abbas

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