Hyderabad: A massive protest meeting in Hyderabad, organised by all the Muslim organisations in the city on Sunday, demanded the government of India give up its plans to deport Rohingya Muslim refugees fleeing from what is being widely called ethnic cleansing in Myanmar.
The meeting addressed by the leaders of various organisations and chaired by state Chief of Jamat-e-Islami Hamed Mohammad Khan also demanded that the noble peace prize should be taken back from Myanmar’s leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, for her failure to prevent the massacre and exodus of Rohingyas. The meeting demanded the government of India raise the issue in the United Nations (UN) and exert pressure on Myanmar to stop violence against Rohingyas.
Addressing the mammoth crowd on the Exhibition Grounds Telangana Deputy Chief Minister Mahmood Ali assured Rohingyas who had taken refuge in Hyderabad they would get all the help and support they needed.
“Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao is very concerned about the Rohingya issue,” he said.
About 4,000 Rohingya Muslims were staying in temporary camps in Hyderabad in areas such as Hafiz Baba Nagar, Shaheen Nagar and Kishan Bagh. About 40,000 Rohingyas were there in different cities of India including Kolkata, Delhi and Jammu.
Ali said that he met the external affairs minister, Sushma Swaraj, and minister for minority affairs, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, and urged them to raise their voice against the violence against Rohingyas.
He also met the ambassador of Saudi Arabia in Delhi and requested him to play a major role in helping the Rohingyas.
“He told me that Saudi Arabia was already hosting hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas”.
Ali assured all help in sending relief material and a medical team to Bangladesh for Rohingya refugees.
Hamed Mohammad Khan said the refugees were living in pathetic conditions and staying in huts that used tarpaulin for roofing. “We are willing to take the responsibility of building temporary houses for them if the government provides land for the purpose”.
He regretted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not protest the ethnic cleansing of Rohingyas during his visit to Myanmar. “Instead he supported the Myanmar government,” he said.
A group of Rohingya refugees were also present in the meeting and broke down while narrating their tales of woes.
Communist Party of India general secretary S. Sudhakar Reddy criticised the government of India for its silence over such a serious situation in a neighbouring country. “There was a time when India was always in the forefront to support the suppressed and oppressed people but today it is a silent spectator.”
He said the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPIM) general secretary met Modi and drew his attention to the plight of Rohingyas.
Dr Mohammed Atif, of Doctors Association for Rehabilitation and Education, said 50 doctors were ready to leave for Myanmar or Bangladesh to attend to the refugees. He appealed to the government to help them in their mission.
Mohammad Ali Shabbir, leader of opposition in Telangana Legislative Council, recalled that during Congress rule India always raised its voice for causes such as Palestine. “But now the present government has deviated from the policy of supporting the oppressed people.”
People, especially the Muslim community has organised public meetings, protest demonstrations, prayer meetings for Rohingyas in Hyderabad and many other places in both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
The Supreme Court is due to deliver its judgement on Monday on a petition challenging the decision of the government of India to deport all the Rohingyas from India.