The Delhi Police said that the renewed focus on Rohingya count was on top of the priority list of Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik who is set to retire in January 2020.
The Delhi Police will create a database of Rohingya refugees living in the Capital which will have their biometric details, sources have told Mail Today. They said that the renewed focus on Rohingya count was on top of the priority list of Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik who is set to retire in January 2020.
“All the DCPs have been asked to submit the nationality verification form of Rohingya refugees, having their personal details. The DCPs of all 15 districts are reporting to DCP (Special Branch) for this issue. Further, the Intelligence unit of Delhi Police will submit the final report to the commissioner within this week,” said a senior police officer, who did not wish to be named.
In October last year, Delhi Police sent out the nationality verification form to the Rohingya refugees living in the city. Written in Burmese along with the English translation, the form sought to know the name, place of birth, religion, eye colour and national identity, along with details of any criminal cases which may prevent them from travelling abroad.
Titled “Personal Data Form,” the form asks a refugee about the family members in Myanmar.
In separate columns, it asks for details of applicant’s children and siblings as well as the siblings of their father, mother, and husband or wife. However, the exercise could not be completed and the exact figures of the Rohingya refugees in the Capital could not be ascertained.
Now, sources said that the Special Branch of Delhi Police, the coordination authority for the exercise, has been asked to speed up their record maintaining cell.
Though there is no exact count, a few thousand Rohingya refugees live in camps in Delhi (Kalindi Kunj and Shaheen Bagh, Nuh, Mewat, and Faridabad). The refugees said they feared that the exercise meant deporting them back to Myanmar, the country they were forced to leave in 2012.
“We will not go back to Myanmar, you can kill us,” said Shahid, a Rohingya in Delhi. Around 55 Rohingya families, comprising 250 people, are residing in a 2,000 square yard shelter camp in Delhi’s Kalindi Kunj area. Shahid says he had come to India via Bangladesh in 2012 and started living here.
The move comes as per the Union government’s plan to send the biometric reports collected from Delhi and other states to the Myanmar government through a diplomatic channel for resolution of the issue. Many say this is a part of Union government’s pan-India verification exercise to deport Rohingya.
In May, five Delhi-bound Rohingya were arrested at Guwahati railway station. Some refugees feared that the move might lead to taking away of their children, born in India, back to Myanmar.
Buddhist-majority country, Myanmar has denied the Rohingya citizenship since 1982. The refugees were displaced by two waves of violence between Buddhists and Muslims in Rakhine region of the country in 2012.Since then, an estimated 40,000 Rohingya have settled in India.
The issue of foreigners was one among those picked up by BJP in the run up to 2019 Lok Sabha eletions. Amit Shah, then BJP president, had in one of the rallies in Delhi called the foreigners as “termites”. The issue of “foreigners” has resonated in the political discourse of the Capital too. Manoj Tiwari, Delhi unit head of the BJP, has been a strong advocate of initiating NRC exercise here too.
“I got to know that the attackers were from a Bangla speaking community, like Rohingya. The people for whom murder, fighting and crime are a daily affair. I think NRC should be carried out in Delhi as soon as possible to throw these illegal immigrants out,” Tiwari said.