BGB detains 18 as Rohingyas keep sailing inSadiqur Rahman and Mubin S Khan . Teknaf
At least 18 Rohingya people, who had fled the bloody sectarian violence in the Rakhine state of Myanmar and sneaked into Bangladesh, were detained by the Border Guards Bangladesh at Shahpari Dweep union of Teknaf upazila on Thursday night.
On Friday, the BGB soldiers obstructed journalists from trying to speak to locals in areas where Rohingya refugees were hiding.
‘We have arrested 14 people at Mazer Para who were sheltered by a local family, and four other Rohingya men at Golar Char on suspicion they had helped their fellows to illegally enter Bangladesh,’ said the commanding officer of 42nd Border Guards Battalion, Lieutenant Colonel Zahid Hasan.
‘We have been instructed by the foreign ministry to ensure that international organisations and NGOs are not allowed to use the recent incidents to embarrass the government,’ he added, explaining why the media were being restrained from carrying out their work.
A young Rohingya boy, Mamunur Rashid, was admitted to the Teknaf upazila health complex on Friday morning with bullet wounds in his right thigh, which he had reportedly sustained at Bagguna in Rakhine state late Thursday night, allegedly at the hands of the Myanmar border guards, Nasaka. He was later transferred to the Cox’s Bazar General Hospital.
The BGB official confirmed that at least eight people with injuries were
currently receiving treatment under police custody. They are expected to be sent back to Myanmar as soon as they recover.
He said that since June 8 when the sectarian violence broke out in Rakhine state, 14 boats and trawlers carrying 684 Rohingya men, women and children, as well as 44 others, had been sent back to Myanmar while trying to approach Teknaf. ‘We provided them with dry food, engine oil, water and plastic cover for their return journey. We are trying to treat them with utmost humanitarian concern,’ said the BGB official adding that no new boats had arrived in the last two days.
Teknaf locals, sympathetic towards the Rohingya Muslims fleeing sectarian violence in Myanmar, claimed they were being ill-treated by the BGB men for helping their fellows seeking refuse.
‘They [BGB men] assaulted me, one of my relatives and a neighbour when they took away the Rohingya people I was sheltering in my house,’ alleged the elderly Abul Hossain, who had sheltered the 14 Rohingyas. ‘Local Awami League leaders accompanied the BGB soldiers,’ he further alleged.
Earlier on Thursday afternoon, Rohingya woman Zohura Khatun, one of the 14 arrested, described how she had escaped from Aikap in Rakhine state.
‘Ahmed Hossain, my husband, was slaughtered in front of me by police on June 9,’ she said. ‘At night, when they set most of our village on fire, I escaped to the bank of River Naf. I hid under neck-high water
for a whole day until a trawler passing by picked me up.’
‘I have no idea where my parents are,’ said Md Salam, another Rohingya man, among the 14 arrested later on Thursday. ‘When we were chased out of Myanmar I ended up on a trawler and my wife in another. I since have no idea where my wife is,’ said Salam.
On Tuesday, BGB men recovered a one-month old Rohingya child with cleft lip, abandoned in an empty boat that drifted into the Bangladesh side. The child, in precarious health, has since been in the care of a local fisherman family.
‘My husband, my son and my son-in-law were slaughtered in front of me,’ said Rohingya woman Noorjahan, who had been hiding in Gholapara village in Teknaf till Thursday. Noorjahan fled to Teknaf along with her daughter, daughter-in-law and four grandchildren.
‘They should have killed us as well,’ said Noorjahan in tears.
comments powered by Disqus