Saturday, September 15, 2012

Rohingyas sneaking into the CHT

News No. 85/2012, Saturday, September 15, 2012

ROHINGYA Muslims continue to sneak into different districts of the Chittagong Hill Tracts after crossing the border from Myanmar into Bangladesh, according to media reports.

Hundreds of Rohingya Muslims began to flee their homes in Rakhaine state of Myanmar following ethnic violence erupted in May. Initially, they came to Teknaf border point in country boats to seek refuge in Bangladesh. But the government of Bangladesh refused them shelter and pushed them back.

However, that did not stop the influx of the Rohingya people who changed their route and entered Nakyongchari, Alikadam, Lama and Thanchi of Bandarban district through the porous land borders.

There are occasional media reports of Rohingya refugees being detained in these areas. But the concern is how many of them go undetected given the fact that most of these areas have already turned into Bengali majority areas and also host a sizable number of Rohingya people who had earlier settled there illegally. Both the Bengalis and Rohingyas share the same appearance, same language and same culture, and once the Rohingya people are able to mix with the local population it will be difficult to identify and deport them.

Thanks to continuous infiltration of Bengali and Rohingya people, Bandarban has seen a dramatic increase in its population in the last decade. According to the 2011 census report, the district’s population has increased from 3,11,570 persons in 2001 to 4,04,093 in 2011. The rate of increase is 2.64 percent, which is much above the national average of 1.37.

Thus in four decades since the independence of Bangladesh, Bandarban has turned into a Bengali majority district in the CHT, and if the influx of new Rohingya Muslim settlers continues unchecked the indigenous Jumma people in Bandarban will soon face total extermination.

Recent arrests of Rohingya

28 August
Twenty three Rohingya Muslims were arrested by police while entering Bangladesh territory on Tuesday morning, 28 August.

Officer-in-charge of Nakyongchari police station, Azad said they would be charged with illegal entry into Bangladesh.

7 September, Daily Purbokone
Twelve Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar’s Arakan state including 6 persons of a single family were arrested in a military raid in Alikadam.

The army conducted the raid after receiving a tip-off about their presence and arrested them from Kana Majhir Ghat area of Alikadam. The Rohingyas were headed for an orchard house for work.

They were handed over to the police after interrogation.

12 September, Daily Purbokone, Prothom Alo
On 10 September, eight Rohingya Muslims were arrested by a joint patrol team of the army and police personnel in Belaichari of Rangmati district.

According to the police, the arrested people had crossed into Bangladesh from Myanmar through Teknaf border about one week ago and reached Farua of Belaichari from there trekking hilly and forest paths.

They were arrested from a motorized boat at the hospital ghat and were produced before the court the next day, Tuesday. They hail from Chohaparang, Buchidong district, Myanmar.

14 September, Suprobhat Bangladesh
The Border Guards Bangladesh on Thursday, 13 September, arrested 19 Myanmar Rohingya nationals from Nakyongchari on charges of illegal entry into Bangladesh.

They were arrested immediately after entering Bangladesh territory through Tumbru-Baishphari border in Ghumdhum Union.

The arrested Rohingyas are from Mongdu district of Myanmar and comprised of both male and female citizens.

They were pushed back into Myanmar after providing them with food and medical services.

15 September, Suprobhat Bangladesh
The Border Guards Bangladesh personnel yesterday arrested seven Myanmar nationals (Rohingya) from Tumbru border point in Ghumdhum Union in Nakyongchari and deported them back immediately. They hail from Buchidong in Rakhine state.

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