The Hyderabad police on Wednesday arrested three Myanmar refugees for impersonating as Indians to secure Aadhaar and other identity cards. The police said that the refugees, who were Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar, also obtained voter cards, ration cards and had applied for an Indian passport.
Officials also said that they were availing benefits under welfare schemes meant for Indian citizens.
The accused were identified as 25-year-old Ibrahim, 34-year-old Noor ul Ameen and 28-year-old Shaik Azhar. They were possessing cards issued by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and were staying in different places of the old city.
Mohd Azhar was arrested and jailed in 2012 for illegal stay in India and for procuring Indian identity proofs. He changed his name as Shaik Azhar and obtained fresh Indian identity cards, the police said.
All the three Rohingyas are from Buthidaung area of Rakhine state of Myanmar. They entered India via Bangladesh and reached Hyderabad.
While Ibrahim reached Hyderabad in 2015, the other two were living here for 11 years.
Explaining their modus operandi, the police said, ‚ÄúThe accused persons first obtain Voter Card or Driving License by submitting electricity bill. Once they obtain Voter Card, they apply for Aadhaar, Ration Card, PAN and other ID proofs. Finally, they apply for Passport to legalise themselves in India as Indian citizens. All through the process they claim to be Indians by suppressing their personal details and nationality and claiming the welfare schemes introduced by the government for poor Indians.‚ÄĚ
About 18,000 Rohingya refugees registered with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) are living in India. Of them, 4,000 of them have found a home in Hyderabad in refugee camps in the city‚Äôs Balapur area.
About a million Rohingya reported to have fled Myanmar to escape persecution by armed forces. Majority of them have taken refuge in Bangladesh.