Eviction Left 15 Refugee Families Homeless in Delhi
24 March 2011: Fifteen Chin refugee families, a total of 58 members, are camping out in makeshift shelters in an open space behind the UNHCR Office in Delhi, India after they were evicted from their quarters by the local Indian landlord yesterday.
The families, including children and elderly with health problems, were reportedly forced to move out after the neighbors make complaints to the manager of the flat, Mr. Babulo.
“We were told by the manager that the other neighbors didn’t like the smell of our food which includes fish paste (Ngapih). Although we actually refrained from eating ngapih after their initial complaints, they still wanted us out of this area,” said Mr. Joshua Hrang Lian Kap, one of the evicted family members.
“Most of the times, we felt that they were hostile to us. Our children got beaten up for no reasons and our properties stolen. We faced verbal and physical abuses. Their intention is clearly to drive us out from this location,” continued Mr. Joshua.
The families are now camping out in an open space by the back entrance of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees office, hoping to get assistance and protection from the UN refugee agency.
“They were informed to vacate the rooms on 15 March 2011 by the landlord, who threatened to take legal actions against them if they failed to comply. So, they had no choice but to move out as they couldn’t find any other places that they could afford,” added the Chin resident in Delhi.
Meanwhile, it has been reported that 42 Burmese refugees were arrested from their work places, including from local restaurants and factories in a police raid in Aizawl, Mizoram State of India on Tuesday.
At least as 100,000 Chins and other migrant workers from Burma, are estimated to be living in Mizoram State.
Refugee Girl Rescued from Attempted Sexual Assault
A Chin refugee girl, 14, was rescued by passers-by around 3pm Indian local time yesterday from an alleged attempted rape by a local Indian while she was washing clothes. Originally from Lingtui village in Matupi Township of Chin State, the girl was allegedly being approached by a naked neighbor identified as Mr. Waahid when passers-by intervened.
“Suddenly, the girl cried out loudly and the nearby people rushed to her help immediately. And the incident has already been reported to the police,” said a Chin resident in the neighborhood.
The girl, who is looking after her mentally challenged mother, came to New Delhi in January 2007 and has been recognized as a mandated refugee by the UNHCR in April 2007.
Last year, at least 30 refugee women were reported to have been sexually assaulted or violently beaten by local Indian men during attempted sexual assaults.