EC: Only 150 Rohingya Muslims in Hyderabad voters list

EC: Only 150 Rohingya Muslims in Hyderabad voters list

Amidst fears that Rohingya Muslims will infiltrate the local community, get Aadhaar and voter IDs, the Bharatiya Janata Party has lodged a complaint with the Election Commission. The party alleged that a large number of community members have illegally got enrolled in the electoral rolls in 15 Assembly constituencies in Telangana.

A BJP delegation led by Union Minister Mukthar Abbas Naqvi lodged a complaint with the Chief Election Commissioner in Delhi on Wednesday. The BJP suspects that the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) party and the Old City’s strong Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) party conspired to enroll members of the Rohingya community as voters.

However, EC officials here said only about 150 Rohingya names were found in the electoral rolls during a massive verification process over the last two months and most of them were deleted. Deputy Commissioner of Police (south zone) Ambar Kishore Jha added, “There were no complaints of Rohingyas obtaining voter ID cards faking their identity. There were two cases in the past and they are being probed”.

Noted lawyer M A Shakeel, who provides legal aid to the Rohingyas living in 28 camps here, said though there is no confirmation, some of the community members have managed to get voter IDs. “The purpose is not to participate in elections. They are interested in identity. I hold the authorities responsible for blindly enrolling them,” Shakeel said.

About 5,000 Rohingya Muslims are living in about 28 settlements under Hyderabad, Cyberabad and Rachakonda police commissionerate limits. Some move out of the camps once they obtain an identity, he said.

Future in India

Packed into makeshift tin-roofed shelters in  Balapore, Hafeez Baba Nagar, Kishan Bagh, Jalpalli and Shakur Nagar in Old City here, the Rohingyas, who started arriving here around 2012, eke out a living working as construction workers and doing petty businesses. Most of them are illiterate, few with religious training. If they are lucky they might get work for a week in a month.

Bilal Hussain of Shaknwa village came here in 2012. “Insha Allah we hope that India lets us live here. Hindus and Muslims are like brothers here, there is no discrimination,” Bilal says. Mother of five children, Parveen Akhtar, works in a nearby tailoring shop. “I have shifted two camps so far. My children are going to an Urdu school here,” she says. Like Bilal, she sees a future for her children here in India.