Millennium Post

Where are the children of Myanmar refugees?

Their plight has been hitting headlines for sometime now and being discussed in earnest. But looks like the Myanmar refugees' bag of woes is only increasing with each passing day. On Thursday, the refugees, who have been camping in Delhi for more than a month, alleged that several children have gone missing. While some families have already left Delhi, some are still stuck here in order to find their missing daughters and sons.

Around 2,500 improvised Myanmar asylum-seekers from across India were camping on the streets of Delhi's south district areas, pleading for refugee status. On Tuesday, a meeting was held between a delegation of Myanmar and UN officials to sort out their problems. Meanwhile, the refugees were forced out of their temporary shelter.

'My 16-year-old daughter is missing for the last 10 days. We lost her when we were camping near Sultangarhi's mosque in Vasant Vihar area. Her name is Rihana and I am worried for her safety,' said Jameel, a refugee to Millennium Post.

'I have lodged a police complaint, but no clue has been found so far,' added Jameel, who is still in Delhi with her four-year-old son. She stays in Jakat House, a place provided by an NGO in Southeast's Madanpur Khadar in Sarita Vihar, along with around 50 families.

According to another refugee, Mohammed Amal, his entire family, including his two small children, has gone missing. 'My two sons, six months old Jannat Ara and Abdul are missing and I am searching for them,' said Alam. He also said that he was not able to find his two teenaged brothers. They went missing a few day before they were allegedly forcefully shifted to Jakat House Sultangarhi mosque.

At Jakat House, one out of three families claim to have lost at least one member. However, majority of them are kids and teenagers, claimed a man in the camp.

'Missing complaints have already given to the police in Vasant Vihar and Vasnt Kunj areas, but nothing is being done so far. The police were more concerned about shifting us from the these places instead of launching a search for our children,' said Faidur Islam. Islam used to crush stones in Myanmar for daily wages.

According to Islam, at least 300 families were in Delhi for the last one and half months.

Before shifting to Jakat House, they camped at the UNHRC premises in Vasant Vihar and later, Sultangarhi mosque, which is located in an isolated area, away from the hustle and bustle of Vasant Kunj.

Complaints have been received in both Vasant Vihar and Vasant Kunj police stations, confirmed a senior police officer, who did not wished to be named. However, despite repeated attempts, DCP (south), Chhaya Sharma, was unavailable for comments.
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