Panicked Rohingyas entering Bangladesh

Following the recent killing of 30 people in clashes at Mongdu city in Myanmar, hordes of panic-stricken Rohingyas have crossed over to Bangldesh in the last couple of days, sources in the district administration said on Saturday.(The Independent )

Also, around 250 Rohingya people, who earlier entered Bangladesh legally for business, are stuck as they cannot return home for fear of life, the sources said.

The district administration of Cox’s Bazar besides Bangladesh Army and Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) have beefed up security and are closely watching the situation at Teknaf border.

Teknaf and its adjacent areas in Cox’s Bazar are rife with rumours that a huge number of people had been killed in Myanmar in clashes between Buddhists and Muslims. This has put the local administration on high alert on this side of the border, the sources said.

“Police are extra-careful not to let the rumour spread in Cox’s Bazar. At present, the situation is under control both in Teknaf and Cox’s Bazar,” Tdknaf Police Station officer in-charge Mahabubul Haque told The Independent on Saturday.

The BGB acting in-charge in Teknaf, Major Md Shafiqur Rahman, said: “The mobile team of BGB is alert to the situation and is resisting illegal entry of Rohingya people through the Teknaf border. To quell any untoward development, Bangladesh Army, BGB and other law enforcing agencies have beefed up vigilance and law and order at the Rohingya camps and adjoining areas.”

“Besides, the Cox’s Bazar district administration and law enforcing agencies are asking people over loudspeakers to maintain peace at Teknaf and Cox’s Bazar, particularly at the Rohingya-prone areas,” Major Rahman further said.

The sources said several hundreds of Rohingyas had managed to enter Bangladesh in the last couples of days, despite beefed up border guard patrolling and other government measures that have so far pushed back around 200 Rohingyas.

A huge number of Rohingya people has already reached Chittagong with the help of some Rohingya leaders living here in the port city.

Some Rohingya leaders, who have voter ID cards of Bangladesh, and certain NGOs are allegedly patronising the illegal immigrants.

The port city is virtually crawling with Rohingyas, many of whom are staying on its footpaths and at the Lal Khan Bazar, Bohadder Hat, Chandgaon, Patenga and Kazirdewari areas of the city.

Rohingyas staying at the Lal Khan Bazar area said they had come here for money. They are either begging or searching for jobs here. Since they can speak the local language, they can fool the police and law enforcing agencies by masquerading as locals.

“We left Myanmar for fear of further attacks after the clashes. We don’t want to return there,” said Momena Begum, who was begging on a Chittagong street. She had entered Bangladesh with her husband and their three children last week

The sources said at least 20 top 30 Rohingyas were illegally crossing the border every day. The local administration fears there would be more as around 30,000 Rohingyas have been camping on the bank of the River Nafi in Myanmar with intent to cross over.

The sources said Muslim Rohingas of Koadang, Bochidong, Tekpara, Boropara, Bolibazar, Naf para, Dikibenia bazar of Arakan; and Amlapara, Moulovi para, Nasir para, Kosai para, Sakik Bazar of Akiab were preparing to leave their country.

The Bangladesh government has taken measures to prevent illegal crossing of the Teknaf border by Rohingyas, keeping in mind that thousands are waiting on the banks of the river Naf for an opportunity to sneak in.  The BGB are keeping a close watch on the boats in the river. Around three lakh Rohingya refugees are living in Cox’s Bazar, Banderban, Chittagong and its adjacent areas.  There are several Rohingya villages in the country.


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