Media: The Independent
Persecution spreads up to border
The Myanmarese Army and Border Guard Police (BGP) yesterday opened fire twice on fleeing Rohingyas, who had taken shelter on no-man’s land on the Bangladesh-Myanmar border. They also set fire to some makeshift shelters of the Rohingyas built on no-man’s land at Jolpaitoli of Noikhonchhori in Bandarban.
At 9pm on Monday, the Bangladesh Border Guard (BGB) began sending back about 800 Rohingyas, who had entered Bangladesh in the Jolpaitoli area of Bandarban.
“At around 12:30pm, over 40 Myanmarese soldiers fired on fleeing Rohingyas. The Rohingyas began running helter-skelter and many of them managed to enter Bangladesh,” said Absar Kabir, an eyewitness.
“We saw many Myanmarese soldiers come towards the Bangladesh border at around 12:30pm. We heard gunshots and saw smoke. The Rohingyas, who had taken shelter on no-man’s land, ran to Bangladesh,” said Prothesh Shil, senior reporter of NTV present on the spot. At 9:30am, the Myanmarese security forces fired on fleeing Rohingyas at the Tambroo border point. Panic spread in the area and the Tambroo Government Primary School was closed.
After the firing, the BGB evacuated people from Tambroo, said local people.
“Hearing the sound of firing, panic-stricken students were seen running. There were about 400 students in the school. After talking to the upazila education officer, we told the students to go home,” said Md Mujibul Haq, assistant teacher of the school.
“We heard five gunshots in the morning. The sound was so loud it seemed that the security forces were firing close by,” said Rokeya Begum and Hasina Akhter of Tambroo.
At the no-man’s land at Tambroo, over 1,500 Rohingyas have been waiting since Friday to enter Bangladesh. With each passing day, this number keeps increasing.
Visiting different border points of Naikhonchhroi, this correspondent found that the BGB had stepped up vigil.
Manjurul Ahsan Khan, BGB-34 Battalion Director, told The Independent: “We are on high alert. No bullet from Myanmar has come to our side. Our force is on the spot. We are not allowing any Rohingya to intrude into our territory.” On Saturday, the Myanmarese security forces opened fired on fleeing Rohingyas at the no-man’s land twice.
UNB adds from Cox’s Bazar: Members of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) have sent back 616 Rohingyas as they attempted to enter Bangladesh through different bordering points amid the escalating tension in Rakhine state following an attack by insurgents on 24 police posts and an army base.
Lt Col Ariful Islam, commanding officer of BGB Battalion-2, said the Rohingyas were pushed back to Myanmar while they were trying to intrude into Bangladesh through Whykong and Unchhiprang points from Sunday night to 7pm on Monday. He said tight patrolling was enforced in the bordering area. Police and coastguards along with BGB were working to prevent the influx of Rohingyas.
Police also detained seven Rohingyas in front of Whykong police checkpost on Sunday night. Later, the detainees were handed over to BGB, said Mahir Uddin Khan, sub-inspector of the outpost.