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Around 1,500 Rohingya Muslims take refuge in Hyderabad

By Vicky Nanjappa
July 11, 2013 14:58 IST
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The Andhra Pradesh government will soon have to deal with the Rohingya Muslims living in the old city of Hyderabad -- many of them illegally, reports Vicky Nanjappa

Sources in the Andhra Pradesh government say that there are about 1,500 Rohingya Muslims in Hyderabad who came to the city a couple of months ago to take shelter in the wake of the violence in Myanmar.

Many of them have taken refuge in the old City of Hyderabad, which has a dominant Muslim population. An officer with the Hyderabad city intelligence unit said they are keeping a watch on the movement of these people.

With little money and no aid from the government most of them are struggling to meet day-to-day expenses. However, some locals have decided to help them as a goodwill gesture, says Lateef Mohammad Khan, the convenor of the Civil Liberties Monitoring Committee, India, an NGO in Hyderabad.

Khan says that migration was an issue in 2012, but the population of the Rohingya Muslims has reduced considerably now and most of them are planning to return to Myanmar.

In Hyderabad, many of them have found odd jobs to do. They do petty jobs in small shops to earn their livelihood. Most of them are, however, extremely uncomfortable with the environment in India since they do not find anything common between them and the Indian Muslims.

Their food habits and culture is completely different. They do not eat the rice or roti and cannot even converse with the local Muslims. They are keen on getting back to their country, says a Hyderabad police officer.

After the Bodh Gaya blasts, a probe by the Hyderabad Police found no link between the attack and the Rohingya Muslims in Hyderabad. “They are only interested in their safety and not violence. There is nothing to show they are linked with any terrorist activities,” the officer said.

The officer, however, pointed out that most of the Rohingya Muslims are staying illegally in India. 

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Vicky Nanjappa in Bangalore