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India Warns Rohingyas Refugees To Abstain From “Fake Voting” in Regional Polls

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Rohingyas Refugees living in the Indian state of Telangana have been sternly warned by the local police from turning-up at polling stations and fraudulently obtaining a voter ID card. Rohingyas are refugees in India and are not eligible to vote in the country.

The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation has identified 105 Rohingyas under its limits who have obtained Electoral Photo Identity Cards (EPIC) by enrolling themselves as voters by giving a false declaration stating that they are citizens of India, a civic body official said.

“If any Rohingya is found to have obtained EPIC and turns up at the polling booth on December 7, we will arrest that person without any hesitation,” Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar told PTI.

Earlier, a GHMC official had said nearly 190 names of people suspected to be Rohingyas, the ethnic minority community in the northern Rakhine state of Myanmar, have figured in the voters’ list of Hyderabad and neighbouring districts and the officials were in the process of deleting them.

According to a GHMC press release, the community has been migrating to India as refugees since 2012 and the influx into Hyderabad started in 2013.

About 5,025 Rohingyas were taking shelter in Hyderabad and its surrounding areas either in refugee camps or in privately rented accommodations and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees is providing UNHCR ID cards to these refugees in the city, it said.

Enrolling in voters list by submitting false information is punishable with imprisonment for a term which may be extended to one year, or with fine, or with both, as per Section 31 of the Representation of the People Act, 1950 (RP Act, 1950).

“A copy of the list containing details of Rohingya voters has been made available with the officers. In case it is found that Rohingya, who are marked in the ASD (absent, shifted, dead) list, comes to vote then he will be immediately taken into custody and a case will be registered,” the GHMC added.

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