Dhaka must act on fresh Rohingya arrival from India

Published: 00:00, Jan 10,2019 | Updated: 00:51, Jan 10,2019

 
 

A FRESH arrival of the Rohingyas who have crossed the border into Bangladesh from India seems to be worrying and sounds an alarm bell for the Bangladesh authorities to take up the issue seriously and act on it. Fifty-seven Rohingya people are reported to have reached the UNHCR transit camp at Naikhyangchari in Bandarban in three days beginning Saturday, with six of them arriving in the latest incident on Monday. The Rohingyas who arrived from Agartala of Tripura in India entered Bangladesh, as officials say, through the Brahmanpara frontiers in Cumilla. The Rohingyas who have reached Bangladesh said that they headed for Bangladesh after being panicked as India had started deporting the Rohingyas living in India to Myanmar. As India sent seven Rohingyas back to Myanmar in early October 2018, the Rohingya refugees started fleeing India and going into hiding amidst fears that their lives could be endangered if they were deported. India launched a campaign to collect personal information, which the Rohingyas think is a prelude to mass deportation. In a situation like this, the Rohingyas started crossing the border into Bangladesh with the Indian authorities being fully in the know about it. The Rohingyas living in India, otherwise, could not enter Bangladesh.
What is worrying about the ‘friendly’ India is that it appears to have pushed the Rohingyas into Bangladesh, in an unfriendly manner, in breaches of international laws that protect refugees, thereby compounding that crisis of the Rohingyas that Bangladesh is grappling to tackle. Soon after the latest influx of the Rohingyas from Myanmar had begun, India in September 2017 professed its ‘full support for Bangladesh’s stance’ on the Rohingya issue and then said it would ‘dissociate’ itself from any UN attempts at sending a mission to investigate the repression on the Rohingyas in Myanmar. India also on two occasions abstained from voting on a UN resolution condemning rights violations in Myanmar, particularly against the Rohingyas. India that September also used chilli and stun grenades to block the entry of the Rohingyas as the Hindu-nationalist government of India expressed its willingness to deport about 40,000 Rohingyas who have lived in India states citing their stay to be a threat to India’s national security, a ground that Myanmar’s military forces are known to have often cited. India that September also authorised its Border Security Force to use ‘rude and crude’ methods to stop the Rohingyas getting into India and asked its border guards and the state police in Assam and Tripura along the Bangladesh border to push back any Rohingya attempting at an entry.
In pushing the Rohingyas, who have lived in India, into Bangladesh, where more than a million Rohingyas already live in camps, India is not only violating the international laws but also jeopardising the lives of the Rohingyas, now considered the most persecuted community in the world, and straining its relationship with Bangladesh, which has always showed a friendly attitude towards India. Dhaka, under the circumstances, must wake up to India’s irrational move and take up the issue not only with India but also the United Nations, the global forum of world leaders, and regional forums to prevent India from carrying out its ill design.

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