Myanmar border: Bangladesh pushes back nine Rohingya

The city of Maungdaw in the Rakhine state of Myanmar as seen from the Teknaf borderProthom Alo file photo

The Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) pushed back nine Rohingya in Teknaf of Cox’s Bazar on Thursday.

They were turned away while trying to enter Bangladesh by boat in Shahparir Dwip jetty of Teknaf in the morning.

Meanwhile, no sound of gunshots and shelling has been heard from the Myanmar side of the border in Teknaf over the past three days until 10:00 pm on Thursday.

Teknaf-2 BGB commander Lieutenant Colonel Md Mohiuddin Ahmed told Prothom Alo the fighting died down between the Myanmar junta forces and the insurgent groups in the Rakhine state along the Bangladesh border.

Nine Rohingya were turned away when they tried to enter Bangladesh by boat on Thursday, he added.

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Earlier on Saturday, four Rohingya men and a Rohingya woman were also turned away when they attempted to enter Bangladesh territory by boat.

Teknaf upazila nirbahi officer Md Adnan Chowdhury said that patrolling of the BGB, Coast Guard and police continues to prevent Rohingya infiltration.

Border situation eases

Bangladesh shares a 283-km-long border with Myanmar. A large portion of this border falls in the Ukhiya and Teknaf upazila of Cox’s Bazar and Naikhongchhari upazila of Bandarban.

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The Myanmar Border Guard Police (BGP) has been fighting with the insurgent Arakan Army beyond the Naikhongchhari border since 2 February.

On 5 February, two people were killed as a mortar shell fired from Myanmar landed on a kitchen in the Jalpaitali village in the Ghumdhum union of Naikhongchhari. One of the deceased was a Bangladeshi woman and the other was a Rohingya. During the fight, a total of 330 Myanmar citizens, including BGP members, took refuge in Bangladesh. They were sent back to Myanmar on 15 February.

Meanwhile, no firing or explosion was heard beyond the southeast border of Teknaf over the past three days until 10:00 pm on Thursday. The situation has also remained calm beyond the Rahmater Beel border of Cox’s Bazar and the Ghumdhum border of Naikhongchhari for the past week.

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Mohammad Karim, 45, from Pashchimkul area of Ghumdhum union, is a daily wager. This correspondent met him at 7:00 am on Thursday when Mohammad Karim and six others were heading to a paddy field.

He told Prothom Alo, “Fighting has stopped in the border area. There is no sound of gunshots. I have been working on a person’s paddy field for five days.”

Md Gias Uddin, from Pashchimkul, lives by fishing in Naf river. He told Prothom Alo that the situation had been calm for a week and he resumed fishing in the river.

Visiting Betbunia Bazar, Nayapara, Mandalpara, Jalpaitali, Pashchimkul, Chakmapara, Hindupara, Tumbru Bazar, Uttarpara and Madhyampara of Ghumdhum union from 7:00 am to 12:00 pm on Thursday, no sign of panic was seen among people of these areas. Everyone was busy in their work. The business also boosted up in two local markets in Betbunia and Tumbru.

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A similar scenario was also seen in the Palangkhali border of Ukhiya upazila. People started working in crop and salt fields, as well as catching fish.

Situation also eased along Whykong, Hnila, Shah Parir Dwip and Saint Martin’s Island border of Teknaf upazila.