Rohingya Refugee Children Face Uncertainty in India

Mehran Bhat - The Diplomat

Rohingya Muslims, who fled Myanmar to escape persecution by the Myanmar military, have found little security in India.

“I escaped from Myanmar and thought we would be safe here [in India],” said Zahoora Begum. “But there is no end to our miseries. We spend our days and nights in fear of detentions and attacks. We have grown up seeing miseries, but we never wanted our children to face the same.”

Zahoora, 25, lives in a makeshift camp at Kirana Talab area of Hindu-dominated Jammu in the Indian union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. She begins her day by feeding her brother’s three small children: Mohammed Ismail (9), Ismat Ara (8), and Noor Qayadani (3). The children’s parents were detained by police after a verification drive by authorities against Rohingya Muslims living in Jammu.

In March last year, over 170 Rohingya refugees were detained and taken to Hira Nagar jail in Jammu after they failed to provide valid documents. More than 150 refugees are currently imprisoned in the Hira Nagar jail.