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Data belies India’s claim of Rohingya refugees a security threat

Munawar Zaman
Press TV, New Delhi

Far away from their homes, the battle for survival continues for thousands of Rohingya refugees living across India. After fleeing war ravaged Myanmar and what the UN described as ethnic cleansing, they are now trying to rebuild their shattered lives in different parts of the world. But in India they are sometimes called termite, sometimes illegal immigrants and now a threat to national security which activists describe as a deliberate attempt to target a particular community based on faith. Apparently they are also accused of illegal activities, but these claims were not reflected in the recently released National Crime Records Bureau Analysis.

Based on analysis of the government crime records agency for 2020 Myanmar nationals accounted for just 2 per cent of the total crimes allegedly committed by foreigners. Analysts say there is no case of terror, rape or keeping arms against any Rohingiya refugee which belies the government claim of calling them a security threat. The anxious refugees say they want peaceful survival till things get normal in their country.

Based on official estimates some 40000 Rohingya refugees are living in parts of India. Many refugees I spoke with had almost similar views, they say they felt safe in India since they arrived but over the last few years hate campaigns against the community are haunting them. Activists have called it a deliberate attempt to target them amid rising Islamophobia in the world’s largest democracy.

As refugee crises continue to be the biggest challenge facing the world, rights activists say the Rohingya community, in particular, has largely been ignored despite the level of atrocities it has endured both at home and as refugees. They say India needs to rethink and redraw its refugee policy regardless of geostrategic interests and stand by its ethos considering the world as a family.

Minority Rohingiya Muslims have for decades fled to neighboring Bangladesh and other countries including India escaping genocide in their country. Over the last few years the community is in utter distress, sometimes detentions in a mid night raid, sometimes their camps being mysteriously burnt down.. Regardless of the refugee crises across the world the community continues to be neglected and unseen victims of violence.

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