Refugee Teens from Burma Arrested for Theft in India
15 July 2012: Indian police have detained seven teenagers under the age of 16 from Chin State, Burma for breaking into a house in Janakpuri of New Delhi and stealing gold ornaments on Monday.
The refugee children stranded in India broke into the house of a local Indian around noon on 9 July and took articles including bangles and necklaces worth of an estimated 3lakh Indian rupees while the house owner went out.
Arrested on 12 July, the children appeared in court accompanied by their parents on 13 July, according to sources from the families and SLIC (Socio and Legal Information Centre) one of the UNHCR’s implementing partners.
The detained children are scheduled to make their second court appearance on 27 July in New Delhi, India.
One of the Chin community leaders based in New Delhi told Chinland Guardian it is not sure whether the stolen materials have been sold or taken hold of by other people.
The theft highlights the desperate situation of refugees from Burma living in the Indian capital.
“We strongly believe that the abject living conditions of refugees in Delhi have prompted these children to commit such a kind of crime. Their parents could not afford to send them to school. We need to identify the reasons for their motivation before we take actions against them,” added the Chin community leader.
The refugee children live in rented rooms with their parents in Sitapuri of New Delhi after having fled military-ruled Burma as refugees to India.
Reporting by A Hmun