31 Rohingyas waiting to make border crossings to Bangladesh from India

More Rohingyas are waiting to enter Bangladesh through Brahmanbaria’s Kasba border from India amid fears of deportation to Myanmar.

“As many as 31 Rohingya women, men and children have gathered on the border,” Major Md Shafiq of the Border Guards Bangladesh told reporters.

The BGB officer said a decision would be taken after a flag meeting with India’s border guards.

“The BGB members are on the high alert so that the BSF cannot push them into Bangladesh.”

Gopinathpur Union Parishad Chairman SM Mannan Jahangir of Kasba Upazila said India’s Border Security Force was trying to force the Rohingyas into Bangladesh since Friday night.

Of the 31 Rohingyas, six are women, eight men and 17 children. They assembled on the no-man’s land.

More than 1,300 Rohingyas entered Bangladesh from India in the past one and a half months, according to Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner Abul Kalam Azad.

The Rohingyas were sheltered at the transit camp set up by the UN refugee agency UNHCR near Kutupalong Refugee Camp in Cox’s Bazar.

“Massive detentions are under way in different Indian states,” Azad told bdnews24.com on Friday.

“The level of the crackdown on the Rohingyas in the Muslim-dominated Jammu-Kashmir, Hyderabad and New Delhi is extreme. Fearing deportation to Myanmar, they are crossing the border into Bangladesh,” he added.

Over 700,000 Rohingyas have fled to Bangladesh since Aug 25, 2017 after the Myanmar army launched their offensive in the Rakhine State. They joined with 400,000 Rohingyas who had already been living in Bangladesh.

Hundreds of Rohingya Muslim families have left India for Bangladesh since seven Rohingya men were deported to their home country Myanmar in October, and more were preparing to flee a crackdown, Reuters reported on Thursday.

India’s Hindu nationalist government regards the Rohingya as illegal aliens and a security risk, and has ordered that tens of thousands of them who live in scattered settlements and slums be identified and repatriated.

This month India deported a Rohingya family of five to Buddhist-majority Myanmar, the second expulsion in three months. That has worried the community given that the United Nations says conditions are not conducive for them to return to Myanmar after fleeing violence and persecution over the years.

India estimates that 40,000 Rohingyas live in camps across the country, mainly in Jammu, Hyderabad and the capital, New Delhi. Only 16,500 have UNHCR identity cards the agency says can help “prevent harassment, arbitrary arrests, detention and deportation”.