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Cops seek UNHCR help to monitor Rohingya refugees in Hyderabad

Rohingya Q and A

The Cyberabad police here has sought cooperation of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to keep tab on Rohingya Muslim refugees who have been living in the city after fleeing from Myanmar.

With unmonitored refugees leading to security concerns in Hyderabad and Cyberabad limits, Cyberabad Police Commissioner C V Anand has asked that all refugees living here be brought on record and long term visas (LTVs) and UNHCR cards issued to them immediately so that the local police and intelligence agencies can monitor them, an official release said today.

As per records of COVA, an NGO associated with UNHCR, 1,806 Myanmar refugees were registered with it. On physical verification, only 1,725 refugees were found presently staying in camps in Hyderabad and Cyberabad police commissionerates, the release said.

“Out of it, only 461 Myanmar refugees were issued UNHCR cards and for others, it is under process. The refugees are staying in areas of Balapur, Baba Nagar, Barkas, Shaheen Nagar and Kishanbagh in old city,” it said.

Under the UN Refugee Convention, refugees coming from war-torn countries like Somalia, Ethiopia, Iraq, Afghanistan and from Myanmar etc, due to their government’s persecution, are issued a ‘Refugee Certificate’ valid for two years and renewable after that.

“This is the only protecting document for them. But most of the refugees in Hyderabad and Cyberabad have entered illegally and are staying illegally. Over a period of time, many of them have obtained voter ID cards, Aadhaar cards, SIM cards. But they not being monitored by security agencies and local police, which is leading to concerns,” it said.

An action plan has been drawn up and it has been decided that till UNHCR cards are issued, the COVA will help local police station to get Rohingyas staying in their area registered with details of family, any SIM cards – cell numbers, Aadhaar cards, voterID cards, ration cards, driving license, etc.

As part of the plan, police station sector sub- inspector will maintain separate registers for the camps in their sectors for the purpose.

“It is learnt that these Rohingyas are moving in and out of their settlements and travelling to Jammu and Kashmir and other states. From now on, they will have to inform the local police station about their movement and also report to the police upon their return,” the release said.

Hundreds of Rohingya Muslim refugees had settled down in various parts of Old City here in October 2011, following ethnic violence in Myanmar.

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