Mohib Ullah murder: Police to take 'ARSA involvement' into consideration too

Mohib Ullah
File photo

Police officials have said that while investigating the killing of Rohingya leader Mohib Ullah, they will take into consideration allegations of Myanmar armed group ARSA's involvement in the incident.

However, ARSA has not been mentioned in the case filed in this connection. The case has been filed against unidentified persons, according to police sources.

Meanwhile, a Rohingya by the name of Selim Ullah (30) has been arrested on suspicion of involvement in the murder.

Mohib Ullah's brother Habib Ullah, speaking to newspersons on Thursday, mentioned the involvement of ARSA and the identification of three persons. However, there is no mention of ARSA in the case he filed at night with the Ukhiya police station.

Attempts were made throughout Friday to contact Habib Ullah about why ARSA had not been mentioned in the case, but he was unavailable.

Deputy inspector general of police (APBn) Md Azad Miah, however, told Prothom Alo on Friday night that all the allegations made by the plaintiff, including the involvement of ARSA in the Mohib Ullah killing, were being taken into consideration during investigations.

Members of the Armed Police Battalion (APBn) arrested Selim Ullah on Friday morning from Kutupalong Camp 3, next to the Lombasia camp in Kutupalong, Ukhiya. He was later handed over to the Ukhiya police station.

According to the police, Selim is a member of a terrorist organisation, but they did not know if there were any cases against him.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony J Blinken in a statement on Friday, called for a full and transparent investigation into the Mohib Ullah murder. His statement was posted on the US State Department website.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, expressing her shock on Friday about the Mohib Ullah killing, said a prompt, thorough, and independent investigation should be conducted not only to identify and apprehend his killers, and expose their motives, but also to define what measures are needed to better protect vulnerable civil society leaders.

In the meantime, tension prevails at the Rohingya refugee camps in Ukhiya and Teknaf. The common Rohingya people are in fear. The law enforcement has stepped up security in all 34 Rohingya camps, old and new.

Mohib Ullah was killed by miscreants on Wednesday night at the Lombasia refugee camp. He was the chairman of the Arakan Rohingya Society for Peace and Human Rights (ARSPH). Prayers were offered for him after Friday prayers at the various Rohingya camps.

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Commander of 14 APBn, superintendent of police Naimul Haque, said police guard has been stepped up at Mohib Ullah's house in the Lombasia camp.

Rohingya leaders of the different camp feel that Mohib Ullah was killed because of his efforts towards repatriation of the Rohingyas to the land of their origin in the Rakhine state of Myanmar

Three members of Myanmar's armed terrorist group ARSA (Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, also known as Al-Yaqin) - Abdur Rahim, Morshed and Lalu - have been identified, plaintiff Habib Ullah on Friday told newspersons. These three ARSA members live in the Lombasia camp, several Rohingya leaders confirmed to Prothom Alo on Friday.

Other Rohingya leaders have been clutched with alarm after the killing of Mohib Ullah. They are worried about their security. Members of Mohib Ullah's organisation have also gone into hiding.

Lombasia refugee camp is under jurisdiction of Rajapalong union in Ukhiya. Chairman of this union Jahangir Kabir Chowdhury told Prothom Alo that they had heard about the presence of ARSA members and members of other terrorist groups inside the refugee camps. And there were often clashes and firing in the camps. The local people were in fear of the unrest in the Rohingya camps.

Killing for supporting repatriation?

Rohingya leaders of the different camp feel that Mohib Ullah was killed because of his efforts towards repatriation of the Rohingyas to the land of their origin in the Rakhine state of Myanmar. In the past too, they said, those in favour of repatriation had been attacked. Two persons had even been killed. A Rohingya leader Arif Ullah was shot dead in June 2018 at the Balukhali camp. He would organise Rohingyas to return to Myanmar.

In March 2019, another Rohingya leader, Abdul Motaleb, was shot and killed in the Lada camp of Teknaf. He had been the chairman of the camp's management committee and would encourage the Rohingyas to return to Myanmar.

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Hakim Bahini also suspected

The law enforcement also suspects that the Abdul Hakim Bahini may be involved in the Mohib Ullah killing. Hakim was from Mongdu of the Rakhine state in Myanmar. Rohingya leaders say this group also has connections with ARSA. The Hakim Bahini has reportedly been involved in robbery and abductions in the Rohingya camps. This group was involved in the attack carried out on 13 May 2016 on the Shalban Ansar camp next to the Rohingya camp in Teknaf. Ansar commander Ali Hossain was shot dead and 11 firearms were stolen in the incident.

Teknaf model police station inspector Abdul Halim said, there are 27 cases, for killing, rape, abduction, weapons, robbery and other crimes, against Hakim and efforts are on to nab him.

Popular leader Mohib Ullah

The Rohingyas of the different camps would refer to Mohib Ullah as Mohib Ullah Master, out of respect. Speaking to Prothom Alo on Friday, Abdul Kader (60), a Rohingya of Ukhiya, said the Rohingya will not get an astute leader like Mohib Ullah again. He was popular among everyone. He spoke fluent English. He would endlessly try to have the Rohingyas repatriated to Myanmar.

Another Rohingya, Kamal Ahmed (55), said Mohib Ullah was the target of the Myanmar military junta. It must be seen why he was killed now.

Leader of the Shalbagan Rohingya camp in Teknaf, Badrul Islam, and Mohammad Rafiq of the Unchiprang camp, said that under Mohib Ullah's leadership, the Rohingyas sheltered in Bangladesh would dream of a dignified return to Myanmar.