More refugees sail in
BGB sends 144 Myanmar refugees back on MondayAbdullah Juberee . Teknaf
At least 144 Myanmar refugees were sent back to their country on Monday evening by Bangladesh Border Guard and Bangladesh Coast Guard.
After a break of four days, Myanmar Muslim minorities are fleeing into Bangladesh in larger numbers to seek refuge from persecution and sectarian violence, BGB officials said.
They said that the refugees were taken into custody and sent back to Myanmar.
BGB operation officer Major Saiful Wadud, said that BGB sent back 144 Myanmar refugees who had trespassed into Bangladesh since Sunday night.
He said 139 of the refugees were sent back in six rowing boats at 6 PM and
five more refugees were sent back at 6.30 PM.
They were sent back from Shahparir Dwip Jetty.
On Monday, the first batch of seven Myanmar refugees entered into Bangladesh crossing the River Naf at around 10.30 AM.
BGB intercepted them near Jaliapara, a village in Shahparir Dwip and took them into its custody.
And the biggest batch of 110 refugees entered Bangladesh waters in the Naf River in six small rowing boats between 11 AM and the midday.
BGB patrolling the river in boats took them into custody.
BGB pushed back hundreds of Myanmar refugees and foiled their repeated attempts to enter Bangladesh to seek refuge since sectarian violence broke out between Buddhists and Muslims in the western Rakhine province of Myanmar on June 8.
BGB is on extra alert along the border as Bangladesh government decided not to allow entry to the Myanmar refugees.
The vigilance along the border has been beefed up to foil entry of the refugees into Bangladesh.
BGB presence along the border has been increased three fold by deploying extra troops.
BGB and Bangladesh Coast Guard intensified patrol along the border Naf River, separating Bangladesh and Myanmar.
Earlier, at around 10,30 on Sunday night BGB took into its custody 19 Myanmar refugees when they were trying to enter Bangladeshi at Jaliapara in an engine boat.
A Bangladeshi girl, Sayeeda, who was with them, had gone to Myanmar for medical treatment. She is a resident of Halishahar of Chittagong city. In Myanmar she stayed with a family related to her.
They were arrested from different places in Shahparaid Diwp.
The people mostly residents of Padangsa near Maugdaw town of Myanmar said they were had to pass several days in riverside bushes as they found no boats to cross the river.
The BGB brought all the Myanmar nationals and boats to the jetty
At Shahparir Dwip provided them food and medical check up.
The BGB allowed media to take photographs of the refugees but not to talk to them.
On Monday morning eight more Myanmar refugees, who entered Bangladesh crossing the river, were picked up by BGB at Naitang Para and Sabrang in Shahparir Dwip and they were immediately sent back to Myanmar at around 4 AM, said BGB officials.
Mostly from Padangsa, near Maugdaw town in Myanmar, the refugees said they had passed last couple of days in riverside bushes Unable to cross the river as they could not find a boat.
BGB brought all the Myanmar refugees and their boats to a jetty at Shahparir Dwip provided them food and medical check up.
BGB allowed media teams to take photographs of the refugees but did not allow them to talk to them.
BGB operation officer Major Saiful Wadud told reporters that the refugees crossing into Bangladesh were taken into custody and provided with all humanitarian assistance.
Major Saiful said that BGB and Bangladesh Coast Guard were patrolling the river.
He said that knowing well that they would be arrested the desperate refugees were entering Bangladesh in small boats ignoring the risky waves in the rough weather conditions.
Their desperation, he said, only indicated that the situation on the other side was not good.
He said that many of the refugees narrated how they fled their villages after some Myanmar agencies picked up their neighbours who never returned.
BGB officials said that the fresh intrusion of Myanmar refugees began with the weather condition improving compared to last few days.
They said that the refugees ignored the local cautionary signal three.
Ahmad Shah, a refugee from Padangsa in Myanmar, said he with the others had to hide in a bush for several days by the Naf River with any food.
‘They are looking for the males in the villages to whisk them in vans. And those picked up never returned,’ he said.
‘So I fled and had to hide in bushes by the river with others but could cross the river as there was no boat,’ he said.
Mir Ahmad from Bagguna in Myanmar said people of his village were asked to attend a ‘peace meeting’ on Sunday but when one of his siblings went there he saw security people picking up the males and asking them to get into waiting vans.
Seeing this he backtracked and ‘We all headed for the river bank at night,’ he said.
Abdul Jabbar from Padangsa had the same story to tell.
As security people were picking up the male members from villages his parents asked him to flee at once with two nephews.
The refugees burst into tears narrating their stories to BGB troops who could only offer consolations.
BGB intensified its patrol of Teknaf, the border town in Bangladesh on the River Naf.
Major Saiful told reporters that the refugees coming to Bangladesh were taken into custody and provided with all humanitarian assistance before sending them back.
The refugees burst into tears narrating their harrowing experience to BGB troops.
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