‘3.5 lakh Rohingyas enter Bangladesh so far’

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10 September, 2017 00:
‘3.5 lakh Rohingyas enter Bangladesh so far’
Members of a voluntary organisation distribute food among starving Rohingyas, who have fled persecution in their homeland in Myanmar, at Kutupalong refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar yesterday. Focus Bangla Photo

Media: The Independent

Original URL : ‘3.5 lakh Rohingyas enter Bangladesh so far’

E-paper  URL‘3.5 lakh Rohingyas enter Bangladesh so far’

After a short pause from Friday noon to yesterday morning, the Rohingyas again began crossing over to Bangladesh in hoardes. Visiting different border points at Teknaf and Ukhiya, thousands of Rohingyas were seen entering Bangladesh, while many were seen waiting on the Naf river at the Myanmar border.

On Friday evening, this correspondent saw fire at six places across the border and on Saturday morning at two places. Smoke was seen floating over the border.

The Rohingyas, who fled to Bangladesh on Saturday, said that as the Myanmar Army, along with local Buddhists, set houses on fire at several places in the Rakhine State of Myanmar on Thursday and Friday, they fled from their villages in fear.

“They are forcefully evicting us. In the name of searching for insurgents, they are burning down our homes without any provocation. They are forced us to leave Myanmar,” said Josna Begum, 35, hailing from Tongbazar, on Saturday.

“The military killed our sons, raped our daughters and burnt down our homes. The local Buddhists are looting our property,” said Idris, 67, who fled from Tong bazaar.

At least 350,000 Rohingyas have fled to Bangladesh in the last 15 days since violence erupted in Myanmar on August 25. While more than 32,000 Rohingyas are waiting at the no-man’s land on the Bangladesh-Myanmar border at different points, said an official of the Cox’s Bazar district administration.

However, the UNHCR said on Saturday that 290,000 Rohingyas had fled to Bangladesh till Friday.

The situation is worsening as the Myanmar military is allegedly burning down houses in new Rohingya-majority areas and carrying out mass killings every day in the name of conducting search operations against “extremists.”

“At least 350,000 Rohingyas have entered Bangladesh since August 25. The number is increasing every day,” Moulvi Aziz Uddin, Union Parishad chairman of Baharchora Union, told The Independent.

This correspondent also spoke to some other local Union Parishad chairmen, including Jahangir Kabir Chowdhury, chairman of Rajakhali Union Parishad. They too said that the number had crossed 350,000.


There are people everywhere. On a 86-km journey along Teknaf Road from Cox’s Bazar link road one sees thousands of newly arrived Rohingyas on both sides of the road. Some are found begging for food and some are busy erecting shelter with tarpaulins and bamboo frames.

At the same time, there is no space at registered and unregistered Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar. UNHCR also said all the Rohingya refugee camps were full due to the ongoing pressure.

“There is no more space in our camps. All the camps have become overcrowded,” said Vivan Tan, spokesperson of UNHCR.

In a one room of 100 square feet at a Rohingya refugee camps about 10-12 people used to stay earlier; now more 10-12 have been added, said Anwar Hossain, a Rohingya leader of Kutupalong. Visiting the Kutulpalong unregistered camp, locally known as ‘taal’, this correspondent also found in 100 sq ft room there are 20-22 people and 30 people in a 150 sq ft room.

Moreover, there is no space in any school, college, or madrasha in Ukhiya and Teknaf Upazilas. Several government primary schools, madrashas were seen packed with Rohingya refugees.

There was no place in the homes of local people either at Ukhiya, Teknaf and Naikhonchhari. The local people were seen feeding the refugees and giving shelter in their homes far as they could manage.

“We are worried about how the huge number of people will be accommodated. For many years, in Cox’s Bazar, there were about 400,000 Rohingyas. After October 9, 87,000 people were added. Now, more than 300,000 have already come and more are coming,” said a high official of Cox’s Bazar District administration on condition anonymity.

Shamsuddin Illius
Shamsuddin Illius is a print and online media journalist. He has been working in the field (fulltime) of journalism since 2010. He is very much passionate about journalism since his early age. Currently he is the Bureau Chief-Chittagong at The Business Standard.

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