Four Rohingya refugees, two children detained in Agartala; case registered

Barely a week after fifteen Rohingya refugees were arrested from Tripura, four more Rohingya and two children were nabbed Friday from Badharghat railway station in Agartala, officers said.

In a statement, assistant inspector general Jyotishman Das Chowdhury said officials of the Agartala Government Railway Police station detained four Rohingya refugees from the station on Friday morning. During questioning, the detainees admitted to having entered India on Wednesday, crossing the India-Bangladesh international border fence in the Dhanpur area under Jatrapur police station limits in Sepahijala district.

Tripura shares an 856-km long international border with Bangladesh, with much of it being in Sepahijala district. “In this connection, a specific case is being registered at Agartala GRP police station for further legal action,” the statement said.

The detained refugees were identified as Md Safikul Islam (55), Senwara Begam (19), her child Md Ismail (1), Md Abdul Kayer (23), Nur Kayeda (19) and her child Nur Kaiyas (1). While most of them are learnt to have come from the Kutupalong Rohingya Refugee Camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, Nur Kayeda hails from Chittagong in that country.

Rohingya are ethnically from southwest Myanmar’s Rakhine state, previously known as Arakan. They allegedly faced persecution in the hands of Myanmar’s military since the country’s independence in the late 1940s. Rohingya villages in Rakhine state allegedly faced a military crackdown in the wake of a deadly attack on a Myanmarese Army post by Rohingya rebels in 2016.

In August 2017, a military crackdown triggered a mass exodus of Rohingya men, women and children to neighbouring nations, especially Bangladesh. In October 2017, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) ordered all state governments to take immediate steps to identify and monitor Rohingya refugees, terming their “infiltration” a burden on the country’s limited resources and claiming that it aggravated security challenges.

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