HYDERABAD: With intelligence inputs suggesting terror threat from Rohingya Muslims of Myanmar, who have sought refuge and settled in Hyderabad, city police have stepped up vigil on those living here.
In fact, after the National Investigation Agency (NIA) nabbed Khalid Mohammed, a Rohingya, from Balapur last November in connection with the Burdwan blast case, the city police perception had changed. Caught off foot by the presence of the Jamat-Ul Mujahideen Bangladesh, an off-shoot of Rohingya Solidarity Organisation, in their backyard, they have taken a host of measures including fingerprinting, employment status, demographic details and photographs while vigil has been stepped up.
The city police, though, is tight-lipped about any recent intelligence inputs about members of the community being in touch with radical groups abroad. Police officials do not deny the vulnerability factor of Rohingyas, who, they believe could be easily exploited by extremists to take up radical paths.
As many as 1679 Rohingya refugees from Myanmar live in parts of Hyderabad and Cyberabad according to police records. After their exodus in June 2012 in the aftermath of ethnic violence between Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar to various parts of India, including Hyderabad, and considering their susceptibility towards extremists outfits, the city police have been keeping a strict surveillance on the community.
A senior police officer on condition of anonymity, said, “Since they are poor, uneducated and alien to the land here, they are likely to be exploited and might be used by hardliners. There is no hard evidence to suspect anyone and police are maintaining total surveillance.”
Mazher Hussain, Convenor, COVA, who has been working with the refugees said many of them are yet to be united with their relatives. “Their living conditions are pathetic. Most of them are illiterate or semi-literate and do daily wage jobs and earn Rs 6,000-7,000 per month,” said Hussain.
“There is no hard evidence in the case till date against him. Other than offences relating to fake passport or Aadhaar, they have not been involved in any act threatening the security of the nation,” said a police official.