in their own country, a group of 25 Muslims from Myanmar have
reached Hyderabad to take refuge here.
The group, fled Myanmar to escape ethnic violence in Rakhine
state, have taken shelter at a 'dargah' at Balapur in the old city
and were waiting to be recognized as refugees by the United
Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).
The Confederation of Voluntary Organisations (COVA), which works
with UNHRC, said it would help the refugees in acquiring the
refugee status from the UN body's office in New Delhi.
COVA executive director Mazhar Hussain told IANS that the group
has joined 100 to 125 Myanmarese refugees who have been living in
Hyderabad for the last two years.
"Most of the refugees already living here work as daily
labourers," said Hussain. The city has about 500 refugees from
eight countries. COVA works among refugees to address their legal
problems, sensitise police towards the rights of refugees and
provide medical assistance.
However, the arrival of the latest group of Myanmar has attracted
attention in view of the situation prevailing in that country.
Muslim organizations and individuals are competing with each other
to express solidarity and help Rohingyas, as the Muslims from
Myanmar are called.
Safa Baitulmal, a Muslim socio-religious group, was first to reach
Balapur with food, clothes and other essential items. "We are
trying to see that they get some employment and don't become
beggars," Safa Baitulmal president Gyas Ahmed Rashadi told IANS.
He, however, said after providing relief during last couple of
days, they stopped the work in view of the police objections over
some issue. The organization will resume the assistance after the
group gets refugee status.
Zahid Ali Khan, editor of Urdu daily 'Siasat', visited the
refugees and participated in the Iftar with them. He distributed
ration among the families and assured all possible assistance to
Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM), the powerful Muslim political
party in Hyderabad, has also come forward with a helping hand. MIM
legislator Ahmed Balala met the refugees and assured all help on
behalf of the party.
The refugees alleged that Buddhist groups were butchering Muslims
for refusing to renounce Islam. The eight families fled Rakhine
state to reach Bangladesh and via West Bengal arrived in
The United Nations and the Amnesty International have already
voiced concern over reports of killings of Rohingya people by both
Buddhists and the security forces.