Intruders change tactics to sneak into BangladeshAbdullah Juberee . Teknaf
Intruders from Myanmar fleeing sectarian violence in the Rakhaine state have changed their tactics of sneaking into Bangladesh by avoiding large groups and the points that have already been used much.
Intensified vigilance by the Border Guard Bangladesh and Coast Guard personnel forced them to change the tactics. In the past two days, they came in small groups of three or four people.
Initially most of the Rohingyas used large boats and came in groups of at least 10 to 20 people and used Shahparir Dwip point to enter Bangladesh.
But now they are avoiding Shahparir Dwip and were crossing the River Naf in small boats that can carry hardly five to eight people and using points upstream the Naf at Damdamia, Jadirgola, Natyangpara, Najirpara, Jaliapara and Sabrang mostly before dawn to enter Bangladesh.
Most of the intruders in the past couple of days were from villages adjacent Maungdaw town and they were fleeing homes panicked although there was no incident of violence. But they said that intimidation was continuing.
Osman and Mohammad Ali of Raingdang near Maungdaw crossed the Naf Wednesday night along with their families separately. Their wife and five children took shelter in a house at Shahparir Dwip.
Osman said that they had fled their village after being extremely frightened as people were picking up the youth and educated people in adjacent villages. None of them returned and it also fuelled the panic.
The family that provided them with shelter attributed their act to a form of religious duty. ‘They are Muslims and are facing an absolute humanitarian crisis. So it is some sort of obligatory duty for us to provide them with shelter,’ the family head said.
Local people and the family who gave shelter to the intruders said that several hundred Myanmar citizens had already entered Bangladesh employing the changed tactics in the past two days but the border guards said they had arrested 11 people
on Wednesday and 16 on Thursday.
The people arrested in the past two days were in small groups and the largest of such groups was composed of only six people, including four children. The border guards also arrested a Bangladeshi young man, Nur Faisal, for helping intruders to get into Bangladesh.
One of the local patrons of intruders said that they had suggested that the Myanmar citizens should use small boats used by fishermen at night as there was no ban on fishing.
The border guard also spotted the change in tactics of intruders and intensified patrol along bank of the Naf instead of only in the confluence. They have marked Najirpara as a favourite point of the intruders as it is the narrowest breadth of the river and the intruders can cross it in the shortest possible time.
Besides, they also marked some other points where the intruders have a greater chance of availing themselves of public transports and do not need to wait for long.
The refugees mostly trespassed into Bangladesh at night, said the commanding officer of the 42 Border Guard Battalion, Lieutenant Colonel Zahid Hasan.
He also said that they had already strengthened security and overnight patrol in the area after the latest development along with keeping a sharp eye on the localities.
Zahid said that a large syndicate was behind the continued intrusion and they had identified the syndicate.
‘Actually this ring is doing business using the crisis on the other side of the border and is instigating people to trespass into Bangladesh,’ he said.
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