Law enforcing agencies yet to trace Rohingya youth


Law enforcing agencies are yet to trace Rohingya youth who was seen in a video with holding a pistol and confessing the murder of Rohingya Majhi (leader) at the Ukhiya shelter centre in Cox’s Bazar. 

The youth named Hashim could not be traced till Thursday noon.

According to the video, Hashim is the son of late Abdul Jabber at the 18th shelter centre of block-3 west of Palangkhali union of Ukhiya.

The video, which became viral through Facebook on Wednesday, stirred huge uproar.

Syed Harun-or- Rashid, captain and additional deputy inspector general (additional DIG) of 14 Armed Police Battalion (APBN), who is in charge of security of Rohingya camps, told Prothom Alo that since the video message was  published, APBN went into the field in search of Mohammad Hashim. Hashim could not be traced till this afternoon. The video seems contrived. There is no reason to accept that Hashim's statement is correct. They are working to find the cause. Those whose names appeared in the video are also being investigated.

After talking with APBN, police, various intelligence agencies and Rohingya leaders it was known that Myanmar's armed group Arakan Salvation Army (ARSA) recorded and circulated a video message of Mohammad Hashim with holding a pistol and confessing killing four Majhis in order to derail the situation. ARSA terrorists killed those four Rohingya sailors in the shelter camp. A separate murder case has also been filed at Ukhiya police station regarding this incident. Mohammad Hashim had been in ARSA custody even before the video message was released. Because of this, he cannot be found in the shelter centre.

Two officials of APBN and intelligence agencies told Prothom Alo that ARSA leaders recorded the video with Mohammad Hashim. They also promoted it. Recently 10-12 murders have been committed in the shelter camp. ARSA is involved in all these. Now, to divert the matter to a different direction, a video by Hashim is released, so that reactions are being created among Rohingyas.

Saiful Alam, the Rohingya leader of Maynaghona shelter camp, said that on the night of 10 June, head Majhi Azimuddin (35) was hacked to death in the B-block of camp-18 (Maynaghona). He is the son of Kamal Uddin, a resident of that block. During the incident, two other Rohingyas named Syed Karim and Rahimullah were injured.

Azimuddin's father Kamal Uddin said the attackers were members of ARSA. On that night, Majhi Azimuddin, head of the camp, was having a meeting with the night guard volunteers at the shelter camp. Then ARSA members attacked then.

Police said miscreants chopped Rohingya MD Ershad, 23, to death on 22 September morning at camp-4 of Kutupalong shelter camp at Ukhiya. Ershad was the son of MD Yousuf, an inhabitant of H-block of that shelter camp. The family claims that the attackers are members of ARSA. Ershad was hacked to death due to a dispute over dominance.

But Mohammad Hashim said in a video message that they killed four Rohingyas including head sailor Azimuddin and Ershad with pistols supplied by the organization called Islamic Mahas. A case of hacking is being referred to shooting. ARSA is responsible for distorting the information and the release of the video message.

Officer-in-charge (OC) of Ukhiya police station, Sheikh Mohammad Ali, said, Azimuddin and Ershad lost their lives on the spot with the wounds of sharp weapon. Police got the video message of Mohammad Hashim and they are examining it.

Rohingya leaders say, they know that young man called Mohammad Hashim. But he has been in hideout for a while. Members of intelligence agencies including ABPN have been searching him, but none knows where he is. Perhaps he is under protection of ARSA. There are no traces of some other Rohingya young men like Hashim in the shelter camp.

An officer of the law enforcing agency said, the organisation called Islami Mahas has been active for few years. There are more than two thousand Madrasas and Maktabs inside the camp.

These religious organisations are conducted with the money sent from abroad. The teachers of these Madrasas are ambivalent about the sharing of money. One of the factions is in favour of Islami Mahas while the other is active under the banner of Olama Parishad. But Islami Mahas is conducted with the support of ARSA. Olama Parishad works for the repatriation.

The video, which is one minute 32 second long, became viral on Facebook on Wednesday. The video was posted from the Facebook ID of “MD Abdullah MD Abdullah”. The logo of ARSA is embedded on the cover page of that ID.

In the video, which was captured in Rohingya language, Hashim was seen holding a piston in his hand and started by saluting everyone. Then he said “My name is Mohammad Hashim, father is late Abdul Jabber, and I hail from Kuanchingmong Para of Burichong (at Rakhine state in Myanmar). I have been living in the camp 18, block east-3. My Majhi (camp leader) is Abdul Jabbar.”

In the video, Hashim said, it was not right to kill the people of his own clan (Rohingya) through incitement of others and for the sake of money. He confessed to his crime and sought pardon to the people of his own people.

Hashim added, 25 young Rohingya were given 25 pistols at camp-18. Those pistols were given by Shahab Uddin, Rahmat Ullah, head Majhi Bhuiyan, Moulovi Rafique, four leaders of terrorist group Islami Mahas.

The video message says, the job of Islami Mahas is accomplishing killing mission. To kill people 25 Rohingya youth were given hefty amount of money. The main job of the young people was killing those who have been working for repatriation. In last five-six days they (young people) killed three Majhis and a volunteer.