PUCL expresses deep concern over mistreatment of refugees in India By Abdul Bari Masoud

Spread the love

“My daughter has been raped, and I have no protection. We don’t want to stay in India,” alleges a woman refugee. The refugees from Africa, mainly Somalia, Congo, Sudan alleged that they were facing harassment at the hands of police.


Highlighting their plight, rights body People’s Union For Civil Liberties (PUCL) on Saturday said it is a matter of deep concern at the treatment of refugees in India, especially at the daily violation of their human rights at the hands of the police.

Refugees said they had come to India thinking that India would welcome them but instead they had faced constant prejudice and hostility; and they lived in fear every day of their lives.

The situation of the refugees in India has always been precarious since India does not have any laws to protect them but their condition during the corona lockdown and after has become alarming.

Speaking with Muslim Mirror, PUCL vice president and senior Supreme Court advocate N D Pancholi said on Tuesday PUCL got a call from a refugee who has been protesting outside the office of the United High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) for the past several months. The refugee said the police had beaten several refugees protesting and had taken three to the Vasant Vihar police station.

When I arrived on the scene, I found there were around 30 refugees from Africa, mainly Somalia, Congo, Sudan who had been in India and were angry with the UNHCR for not even listening to their grievances, Pancholi said.

The women, men and small children had come to demand to speak to someone in the UNHCR but the gates were firmly shut on their faces.

He quoted that one refugee woman being pushed by the police said: “My daughter has been raped, and I have no protection. We don’t want to stay in India.”

The police had been called by the UNHCR when the security outside could not control the anger of the refugees. The police had taken away three refugees, two women, including an Afghan refugee to the police station. It was on the intervention of a human rights activist, Sebastian Hongray that the situation was brought under control and finally the three detained refugees were brought back.

However, PUCL saw several videos of how police beat the refugees even outside the gates of the UNHCR but took them to a spot which is away from the CCTV, Pancholi said.

While appreciating the difficulties under which UNHCR has to work, he said the PUCL feels that it is shocking that refugees are beaten and arrested at the behest of the only agency which exists to protect the refugees.

The refugees said they were not being given the benefit of some of the schemes and did not have information. One of them said that some gift cards were distributed randomly but many had not got the sum.

The main demand of most of the refugees is that they want resettlement since in India they cannot legally work, or get admission into educational institutions.

We, therefore, demand that the UNHCR find a mechanism to talk to the refugee community on a regular basis and keep them informed of the situation, said Vertika Mani, Convenor, PUCL.

Post Disclaimer

Disclaimer: PUCL expresses deep concern over mistreatment of refugees in India By Abdul Bari Masoud - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Latheefarook.com point-of-view

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *