Friday, 29 May 2020

Kutupalong, Bangladesh: A child was severely injured and six others wounded in a clash between UNHCR registered refugees and unregistered refugees, while they were collecting drinking water from a tube well yesterday, at noon, according to Rafique, a member of the Refugee Committee for unregistered refugees in Kutupalong.

Five-year old, Abubakar Siddique, was injured and had to have eight stitches on the head, after he was hit by a stone thrown by the watchman of the tube well, Ibarahim (65). The child is in a critical condition, he added.

Ibarahim is an UNHCR registered refugee from the Kutupalong official camp and works as a watchman of the tube well at night for the security of the tube well. But, he collected ¼ kilogram of rice from an unregistered Rohingya refugee’s family, who live near the official refugee camp, said Mohamed Safique, a refugee from the camp.

In Block A of unregistered refugee camp, there are 1824 families and Ibarahim collect around 456 kilograms of rice per month, the refugee said.

Yesterday, some of the refugees, who are very poor and unable to pay the quota to Ibarahim for drinking water, were beaten up by him and his son. Seven refugees were injured in the conflict. Later, the injured refugees were sent to the MSF clinic near the camp, said Hashim, another refugee committee member.

The injured refugees have been identified as, Mabiya Khatoon (20), Janeyetara (5), Abulbakar Siddique (5), and Haseena (25), he added.

After that Ibarahim and his son paid the security force of the camp police and again beat up the refugees. Two refugees, Nurul Amin and Kalameah were sent to the MSF clinic again in the evening, he added.

The refugee committee members went to the UNHCR refugee camp-in-charge to complain about the matter, but they didn’t reach the camp in charge. So they reported the matter to the security officer of the camp police, but still no action was taken against Ibarahim and the camp police.

When asked about the paying of rice for water, a refugee said, “We have no drinking water tube well. So, we have to take water from that tube well, which is under the watchful eyes of Ibarahim. If we need water, we have to pay. We reported this matter to the camp in charge and concerned organizations like UNHCR.”


“When MSF gave us water with purification tablets, at that time, we did not have any problem. After setting up the tube well for us by ACF, we are facing drinking water crisis, as our tube well pumps water with a high iron content,” said Hamida,  a mother of four children.