Amid uncertain future, a Rohingya protest

Late Tuesday afternoon, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju told reporters that Rohingyas “were illegal immigrants” and “they stand to be deported”.

Written by Aditi Vatsa | New Delhi | Updated: September 6, 2017 10:04 pm
Rohingya protest in Delhi, Rohingya at India-Bnagladesh border, Rohingya in India, Rohingya imigrants in India, India news, National news, Latest news Rohingya Muslim refugees hold placards and raise slogans against human rights violations in Myanmar during a protest at Jantar Mantar, in New Delhi on Tuesday. (Source: PTI)

Kyaw Min alias Sabbir was 17 when he crossed the India-Bangladesh border in Binapur. With Rs 43,000, which he had saved while living in Bangladesh for over two years, Sabbir’s destination of choice was Mumbai. “I had grown up watching Hindi movies starring Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan. For the 15 days that I was in Mumbai, I went looking for locations where they might be shooting. I had also heard that India was a great democracy and wanted to come here,” said Sabbir.

On Tuesday morning, Sabbir stood in the heart of Delhi — a country that does not want him or any of at least 16,500 Rohingyas living in across various cities — protesting. Hours before Prime Minister Narendra Modi was expected to reach Myanmar, Sabbir and several other Rohingyas residing in the capital gathered at Jantar Mantar and demanded that “genocide against Rohingyas in Myanmar” be stopped.

Sabbir last spoke to his sister a few months ago, when the fresh round of violence hit the northern state of Rakhine in Myanmar. “She got married around a year ago and had a child recently. She was crying on the phone, asking me to save them. I did not know what to say. I came here in 2005 but my parents and eight siblings still live there,” he said, adding that his elder son had recently asked him if he could stay back in Delhi since he was born here.

Late Tuesday afternoon, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju told reporters that Rohingyas “were illegal immigrants” and “they stand to be deported”.

But ahead of Rijiju’s statements, Ali Jauhar, another Rohingya, who was part of the protest, said, “The Myanmar government is headed by a Nobel Peace Prize recipient but violence continues there; human rights are being violated. International organisations maintain that 1,000 people are feared dead but we do not know if these estimates are true. The Indian government should speak out against the genocide there. If they send us back, the government will kill us within a few months, if not by guns then by stopping access to healthcare, education and other basic amenities.”

Alleging that since August 25, “the Myanmar military and forces have been indiscriminately killing Rohingyas, torturing and plundering their homes and villages”, the group claimed to have approached the Indian government on the issue.

“The UN investigation team should be allowed to probe in Arakan. They should allow aid workers and international media to work freely in Burma. Around two lakh Rohingyas are suspected to have crossed the border to enter Bangladesh to escape the humanitarian disaster. There is an acute shortage of food, medicine and other essentials,” said Sabbir.

For all the latest India News, download Indian Express App

  1. ivan wong
    Sep 13, 2017 at 9:44 pm
    Look at the audacity
    1. R
      Sep 7, 2017 at 7:43 pm
      Police should immediately arrest these criminals and illegals - who gave them the right to "protest"in India ? Even legal refugees like Tibetans are not allowed to protset China but these ilegal bangladeshis are allowed to create nuisance ?
      1. K
        kick rohingyas
        Sep 6, 2017 at 10:53 pm
        bloddy islamic terrorists we dont want your hindi movie,8 sibbling ,humanitarian etc etc you r a person belongs to a religon cult, haterd,terrorists,inhuman nature. you are not born for shoud bi kicked out from india and go back to bangladesh or pakistan.these rohingyas a child producing machins should be kicked out from india. you and your so called peace religion isnot trustable.
        1. L
          Sep 6, 2017 at 6:51 pm
          Their population in 2015 was 15000 now it is 40000 , hence they are conceiving like pigs. Bodh Gaya, NaMo Patna rally in 2014, Mumbai Azad Maidan.etc.dissturbances were created by Rohingayyas. They already have everything. Including Voter I'd etc Slowly steadily a new vote Bank will be created.
          1. M
            manish kumar
            Sep 6, 2017 at 6:39 pm
            India should learn a lesson from Myanmar how to teach a lesson to people who feed on the land of the country and abuse their motherland. Is not Kashmiri Non-Pandit majority who thrown kashmiri Pandit from their land subject to prosecution under the law? If India can't do anything in this matter, she should have no moral right to inter-fare in the internal issues of a country when she can't fight for justice of her own people.
            1. Load More Comments