The Hyderabad police is keeping a watch on the meetings protesting the deportation of Rohingya Muslims in Hyderabad for the past few days. Such meetings and round-table conferences have increased after the Centre told the Supreme Court that the illegal immigrants from Myanmar posed a security threat to the country and that they would be sent back soon.

The All India Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), All India Majlis Bachao Tehreek (AIMBT), Welfare Party, Congress, TDP and the Left parties have recently become vocal in demanding that the BJP-led NDA government should not deport Rohingyas from here, on humanitarian grounds. Muslim outfits like Jamait-e-Islam Hind are backing the demand.

The Hyderabad police, with inputs from the National Investigation Agency (NIA), are looking into whether there are any behind the scenes organisations that were mobilising support for the Rohingyas. “We are aware of the role of some NGOs working for Rohingyas, but we are watching if there are any invisible outfits with links to terror network,” an official with the Special Branch police told The Sunday Guardian.

There are certain NGOs like Confederation of Voluntary Associations (COVA) which are working for the rehabilitation of Rohingyas in the Old City for the past five years. The COVA led by Mazar Hussain has been instrumental in issuing identity cards to around 3,000 Rohinya families and providing schooling to their children. This and a couple of other NGOs had always cooperated with the police.

However, what surprised the cops are the recent shrill voices from several pro-Muslim bodies in support of Rohingyas This issue of Rohingyas’ persecution in Myanmar has been raised in Friday meetings at mosques and recent pictures depicting massacre and torture of Muslims in Myanmar. Speakers at these meetings are lashing out at the local politicians for keeping mum on the crisis.

The cops are observing how these speakers were mentioning Rohingyas from Jammu and other parts of the country being subjected to pressure to leave the country. It is suspected that a small group of activists were working behind the scenes to mobilise support of mainstream political parties in Hyderabad to build a broader pressure.

Ruling TRS joined the chorus for sheltering Rohingyas in Hyderabad as Deputy Chief Minister Mohammad Mahmood Ali led a meeting held in support of the Muslim refugees in the Old City of Hyderabad last Friday. In the meeting, Mahmood Ali said that the Rohingyas had been staying here for the past six to seven years and had become part and parcel of the city.

Mahmood Ali led a delegation to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj last weekend in New Delhi and submitted a memorandum seeking India’s intervention to stop attacks on Rohingyas in Myanmar. TRS parliamentary party leader K. Keshav Rao, too, was in the delegation.

Leaders of Congress, TDP and the Left parties CPM and CPI, too, addressed a series of meetings in the Old City in the last one week opposing any move to deport Rohingyas from their settlements here. AIMIM supremo Asaduddin Owaisi is very vocal on this issue and he spoke at a number of meetings on this issue. 

BJP is the only party that is opposing any politicisation of the Rohingya Muslims’ issue. “It (Rohingya Muslims issue) is a purely administrative and diplomatic matter and has nothing to do with communal angles,” BJP’s Telangana unit president K. Lakshman told this newspaper.

Another BJP legislator N.V.S.S. Prabhakar told this newspaper, “Providing relief to the refugees is one thing and keeping them in the country at the cost of national security is another.” The police are of the view that the issue pertaining to around 5,000 Rohingyas would not have been a major concern to these parties, but the impact of their deportation was being made a big issue to over three million local Muslims. The cops are worried that the issue might be used by hardcore elements to radicalise local Muslim youths.

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