11 bodies washed ashore in Cox’s Bazar in two months

Sea beach

11 bodies have washed ashore in last two months in sea beaches of Cox’s Bazar’s Teknaf and Ukhiya upazila, bank of Naf river and Saint Martin’s sea beach. The bodies were buried as unknown persons since their identities could not be revealed.

Police said the bodies were not of any local residents. It is assumed from their attire that they might be Rohingyas.

Meanwhile, a report published in Prothom Alo on 11 August from BBC said that 23 Rohingyas died in boat capsize en route Malaysia from Myanmar’s Rakhaine state. 30 more were missing and 8 were rescued so far.

Locals assume that the bodies washed ashore might be the missing people in shipwreck.

Teknaf officer in charge (OC) Md Zobair Syed told Prothom Alo that details can be learnt after autopsy of the bodies recovered from Naf river and sea beaches of Cox’s Bazar.

Local residents and police said 11 human corpses and skeleton were recovered at Teknaf’s Sabrang, Shahparir Dwip, Howaikhyong, Baharchhara, Saint Martin’s and various points of Inani sea beach in Ukhiya upazila from 14 June to 11 August. Body of a woman was recovered at Mundar Dale sea beach  in Teknaf’s Sabrang on 14 June. A beheaded body of a man was recovered at Patoartek point in Inani 15 June. The following day, a human skeleton was recovered at Halbunia sea beach in Saint Martin’s island. A youth’s body was ashore near Sabrang tourism park in Teknaf on 3 July. On 8 July, body of a youth was recovered from Naf river in Teknaf.  A skeleton was found at a sea beach in Teknaf’s Shahparir Dwip on 20 July.

Body of a children was recovered from Shahparir Dwip on 27 July. Skeleton of a youth was recovered from Uttar Shilkhali sea beach in Teknaf on 29 July. A youth’s body washed ashore at Kataboniakhal near Sabrang tourism part on 3 August. In latest incident on 11 August bodies of two young man and woman were recovered from Halbunia sea beach in Saint Martin’s island.

Of the total bodies, 3 each were recovered from Sabrang and Saint Martin’s, two from Shahparir Dwip, one each from Ukhiya, Baharchhara and Howaikhyong.

Several leaders Rohingya camps on condition of anonymity said, Rohingya youths are heading towards Malaysia and Indonesia on illegal sea routes. Some middlemen are alluring them to take the perilous journey. They suspect that the bodies recovered might be of these Rohingya people. Campaign in the Rohingya camps against such journey using illegal routes is not working. A powerful gang of human traffickers are working in Rohingya camps, Teknaf, Myanmar, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Sabrang union parishad chairman Nur Hossain said, “No accident occurred in Naf river or sea in last two months. Yet five bodies washed ashore in Naf river in Sabrang and Shahparir Dwip, and sea beaches of Bay of Bengal. River police recovered the bodies and buried these as unknown persons following post-mortem.”

Saint Martin’s union parishad chairman Mujibur Rahman said three bodies were washed ashore in Halbania sea beach recently.

“None of the bodies are of local people. They all are unknown.”

Sub inspector (SI) of Teknaf river police Mohammad Chan Mia and Saint Martin’s river police’s inspector Selim Hossain said a total of 11 bodies were recovered in last two months. It is assumed that they were victim of trawler capsize while going to Malaysia using illegal routes.

Shusashoner Jonno Nagorik (SHUJAN) Teknaf’s general secretary ABM Abul Hossain told Prothom Alo that Rohingyas flee from camps and try to reach Malaysia and Indonesia using illegal routes. Thousands of Rohingyas risk their lives every year while trying to cross the sea crammed on fishing boats.