Fears have arisen of yet another influx of Rohingya from Myanmar into Bangladesh. Local residents and people’s representatives said that there are over 150 Rohingyas positioned at the borders of Teknaf and Ukhia. The Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) is on alert.
Announcements to this end were made over loudspeaker along the border on Thursday night.
Union Parishad (UP) member of Palongkhali union, Ukhia, Sultan Ahmed, said that they were contacted on Thursday night by a government agency on duty at the border. They were told that quite a few Rohingyas might be attempting to cross over the border into Bangladesh.
Upon hearing this, the UP member along with others took position at the Paishkhali border towards 11 in the night. They could hear noises of people in the forest on the other side of the border. It confirmed their suspicions of a possible attempt by Rohingyas to enter Bangladesh.
The local people learnt that a certain terrorist group was trying to bring these Rohingyas into Bangladesh. However, after being tipped off, everyone in the area was on alert. The people were cautioned over loudspeaker at night in this regard. It was learnt that many of the Rohingyas who had gathered at the border were infected with coronavirus.
Palongkhali UP chairman Gafur Uddin Chowdhury, speaking to Prothom Alo, said that he had learnt that over 150 Rohingyas were attempting to enter Bangladesh through Medhir Khal border at Anjumanpara. About the matter, he had spoken to the BGB personnel deployed at the border. They were on alert. No Rohingyas would be allowed to enter illegally.
Learning that many of the Rohingyas may be infected with coronavirus, the UP chairman said they had learnt that they were trying to come to Bangladesh for treatment.
After 25 August 2017, hordes of Rohingyas had entered Bangladesh through the Teknaf and Ukhia borders. Around 1.15 million Rohingyas had settled in Teknaf and Ukhia since then. Myanmar has spoken about taking them back at various times, but till now has not done so.
Commander of BGB’s 34 battalion in Cox’s Bazar, Lt Col Ali Haider Azad Ahmed, told Prothom Alo that BGB men had been sent to the border at Anjumanpara and Ulubania and that no one would be allowed to enter. BGB is keeping sharp watch at these areas. No one has been spotted in these areas.
Ukhia upazila nirbahi officer (UNO) Mohammed Nikaruzzaman Chowdhury and Teknaf UNO Mohammed Saiful Islam, said that at night there had suddenly been reports that Rohingyas were trying to enter Bangladesh at the borders of the two upazilas. However, the border guards were in alert and so, they hoped, no one would be able to enter.