HRWF (13.10.2017) – Amongst the Rohingya Muslims fleeing ethnic cleansing in Myanmar, are Hindus, a religious minority that also has a long history in the country. Many Hindus have escaped to neighbouring Bangladesh and India. The majority of the persecuted communities have fled to Bangladesh, creating makeshift refugee camps.
In India, refugee Hindus are in a precarious situation. The Indian Supreme Court is currently debating the deportation of some 40,000 Rohingya Muslims from India. However, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) party has requested that the government protect the Rohingya Hindus seeking asylum.
In the previous months, the government has made policy changes to make the citizenship process easier for religious minorities from Bangladesh and Pakistan, including Hindus, Buddhists, and Christians amongst others.
Despite this previous support, the uncertainty of their fate remains as government officials share varying viewpoints on the situation of Rohingya Hindus. One anonymous senior home ministry official in New Delhi told NDTV:
“At this juncture we have no SOS calls from Hindus… Also, the Supreme Court is yet to decide whether India should deport Rohingya Muslims or not. The matter is sub-judice and any policy decision will be taken only after the court’s order”
As Rohingya Hindus wait in limbo for the Supreme Court decision, the VHP is continuing efforts to advocate for their asylum in India. The VHP is expected to meet with the foreign ministers and high commissioners of Bangladesh and Myanmar to ensure the safety of Rohingya Hindus in the Rakhine state.
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