Monday, 25 May 2020

Maungdaw, Arakan State: The Burmese authorities sent back sixty Bangladeshi boatpeople from Maungdaw to Teknaf by boat yesterday, according to an official from Maungdaw.

Bangladeshi boat people in Teknaf BGB Battalion

“The Bangladeshi boat people stayed for three months in a Rangoon jail after being arrested on the shore of  Rangoon river bank.”

“The boatpeople were moved from Rangoon to Akyab (Sittwe), then they were again shifted to Buthidaung Jail on June 20 where they stayed in jail on that night.”

“Yesterday, the boat people were shifted to Maungdaw in two trucks to the exit gate of Poung Zarr (Ashika Para) accompanied by Maungdaw immigration officers, Burma border security force (Nasaka) officers, and Maungdaw administration officers.”

The concerned officers from Burma sent back all the Bangladeshis to Teknaf by boat, but the officers did not hand over the boatpeople to a Bangladeshi officer, according to an officer from Teknaf.

“The Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) took only 35 of the boatpeople when Nasaka personnel dropped them at the Bangladesh side. The other 25 boat people escaped from the border when the BGB arrived.”

“The BGB took the boatpeople to their battalion in Teknaf for further interrogation.”

According to one of the boatpeople, Rahamat Ullah, “146 boatpeople (Bangladeshi and Rohingya) sailed on March 31 to Malaysia with a boat from Kusura Dip (Island) of Cox’s Bazaar. They were dropped at a place at night after sailing 13 days in the sea, as the boat’s captain said they had arrived in Malaysia, and the boat left them.”

“Later, we realized that we were in Burma, and the authorities arrested us. Now, we are in our homeland and hope we will soon see our family.”

“The Rohingya were kept in the jail as they are from Burma. They were not released while we left from the jail.”

“The traffickers were from Bangladesh and Burma. Without Bangladeshi traffickers the Burmese traffickers would not have been able to arrange the deadly trip. The traffickers collected from us Taka 10,000 to 50,000, but they cheated us, dropping us in an unknown place, not Malaysia. Every time, the traffickers do like this, dropped us in Thailand, in Bangladesh, or Burma as this in on the way, said Mohamed Noor, a boatperson from Sharpur Dip Village.