Rohingya Muslims: Worry ahead for India

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In the year 2013 when the fight between the Rohingya Muslims and the Buddhists in Myanmar intensified, India began staring at a crisis. Several thousand Rohingya Muslims fled Myanmar and took shelter in India.

While the Indian government has been sympathetic to the cause of the Rohingya Muslims there is a difficult task ahead. There are around 25,000 Rohingya Muslims who have taken shelter in India and not all of them have landed in the government certified refugee camps. [Myanmar-Burdwan blast link: How Rohingyas' cause blew out of proportion]


Controlling the spread of the Rohingya Muslims:

The government of India says that as long as the Rohingyas obtain a valid visa and a refugee card there is no major problem. However the issue is with those who are staying illegally. There is a dedicated refugee camp in Jammu and Kashmir and all formalities need to be completed there.

The problem however is that the Rohinya Muslims are found in several other places such as Delhi, Noida, Mewat, Saharanpur, Muzaffarnagar, Aligarh, Hyderabad and Mumbai. These places do not have certified camps and many are living illegally without a valid visa or refugee card.

The headache for security agencies:

The influx has become a headache for the security agencies. Those without valid documents are extremely difficult to track. They are most likely to be targeted by religious groups and terrorist outfits. If the situation is not controlled then there is every chance of them turning out to be like the Bangladeshi refugees who were roped into the world of crime.

If the Rohingya Muslims start taking shelter in places of their own choice, then it becomes a major problem. For the moment the Rohingya Muslims are in a desperate state and all they want is to return to their homeland. However with the violence in Myanmar turning from bad to worse, they are unable to get back to their homes immediately.

When terror comes tapping:

Let us face it, terrorist groups mean good to nobody. Both the Lashkar-e-Tayiba and the Al-Qaeda had raised the issue of the Rohingya Muslims last year and this had sent panic waves amongst the security agencies in India.

These groups are likely to take advantage of their situation and try and rope them into their outfits. Many Rohingya Muslims would agree not out of choice but out of compulsion or desperation. They would continue to stay in India and in order to feed themselves and their families, they may just fall trap to the designs of these terrorist groups.

In addition to this terrorist groups may also pick up a handful of youth train them and send them back to Myanmar to wage a war. This again would seem like a repeat of the Burdwan module which was preparing to stage attacks in Bangladesh from Indian soil.

We want to go back home:

So far there has been no instance of any Rohingya Muslims joining a terrorist group. There was however one instance when the National Investigating Agency picked up a Rohingya Muslim from Hyderabad in connection with the Burdwan blast. He was however let off as the NIA found no involvement.

Mohamamd Haroon a Rohingya Muslim in Hyderabad tells oneindia that they only want to go back home. We are not familiar with the conditions here and the food habits are entirely different. We do not seem to be getting used to the conditions in India at all as we have spent all our lives in Myanmar. It is our desperation and if we go back now, we will all be killed he says.

In Hyderabad alone there are around 1500 Rohingya Muslims who have taken shelter. Officials say that these people tend to take shelter in Muslim dominated cities or areas as they feel secure. However the lifestyle of an Indian Muslim and a Rohingya Muslim is completely different and hence the latter never gets used to the conditions. They have a similar religious faith, but their lifestyles are contrasting, an officer from Hyderabad also informed.

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