Several organisations took to the streets of Hyderabad on Sunday, to express solidarity with the Rohingya Muslims of Myanmar, and protest the Centre's plans to deport them.
Protests were led by city-based organisations like Majlis Bachao Tehreek (MBT) and Darsgah Jihad-O-Shahadat (DJS), who also raised slogans and held placards that read 'Stop killings of innocent Rohingya Muslims in Burma' and 'Stop genocide of Rohingyas'.
The Congress and Left parties held an all-party meeting at Nampally and condemned the killings.
PTI reported that several protesters on the streets also burnt effigies of Myanmarâs state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi.
Rohingya Muslim refugees have taken shelter in India and a large number of them in Bangladesh to escape persecution against them by Myanmar authorities.
The Rohingya immigrants, who fled to India after violence in the western Rakhine state of Myanmar, have landed in Jammu, Hyderabad, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi-NCR and Rajasthan.
Taking suo motu cognizance of media reports regarding the government's plan to deport them, the NHRC had on August 18 observed that "refugees are no doubt foreign nationals but they are human beings, and before taking a big step the government of India has to look into every aspect of the situation".
At one of the protest meetings in Hyderabad, Telangana Deputy Chief Minister Mahmood Ali said that he had officially submitted representations to Union Ministers, on behalf of the TRS government, and urged them to help refugees, and also put pressure on Myanmar to stop the violence.
âAround 40 doctors from Doctors' Association for Relief & Education (DARE) are ready to provide medical aid to the victims in Bangladesh and Burma...As of now the condition of Rohingya Muslims is indescribable. I request the government to provide Wakf Board land or any vacant land belonging to the government so that they raise temporary structure for shelter. Once peace returns to Myanmar, the government can take back the land,"Jamaat-e-Islami Telangana and Odisha president Hamid Mohammed Khan was quoted as saying.
MBT President Majeed Ullah Khan criticised the Narendra Modi led governmentâs âsilence on the genocideâ and said that the decision to deport Rohingyas was based on the agenda of the âSangh Parivarâ.
MBT spokesperson Amjed Ullah Khan said, âRohingya Muslims are stateless people, who have been denied citizenship despite Myanmar being their homeland for generations. They are facing persecution and hardships, forcing hundreds of thousands to seek refuge in neighbouring countries including India.â
He also dubbed the Centreâs recent plans to deport them, as âunfortunateâ.
The NHRC had also observed that the Supreme Court had consistently held that the Fundamental Right enshrined under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution regarding Right to Life and Personal Liberty, applied to all, irrespective of whether they are citizens of India or not.
Referring to the international convention on human rights and other world bodies, including UNHCR, activists say that refugees cannot be expelled if they face certain death or torture back home.
Meanwhile, with the outpouring of support for the issue, the Hyderabad police have adopted a 'wait and watch' strategy.
Stating that there were around 3,800 Rohingyas staying in Hyderabad legally after obtaining United National Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) cards, the Deccan Chronicle reported that the city police had temporarily put its plan to identify illegal Rohinhya refugees, on hold.
âWe have put our plans on hold. Rumours are unnecessarily being circulated through social media, and attempts are being made to communalise the issue. For the time being, we are adopting a âwait and watchâ policy,â a senior police official told DC.