Hindu refugees blame 'Rohingya militants' for attacking them in Myanmar

Hindu refugees have pointed the finger at Rohingya militants for attacking them in Myanmar when the ethnic minority Rohingyas blame the country's army for killings, rapes, arsons and lootings. 

Suliman Niloy on return from Cox's Bazarbdnews24.com
Published : 24 Sept 2017, 05:57 PM
Updated : 24 Sept 2017, 07:01 PM

Around 500 Hindus have crossed the border into Bangladesh along with over 436,000 Rohingya Muslims after fleeing conflicts in Buddhist-majority Myanmar's Rakhine State since an army crackdown triggered by insurgent attacks on security forces on Aug 25.

The Hindu refugees have taken shelter beside two temples at Ukhia in Cox's Bazar near the refugee camps for Rohingyas at Kutupalong.

On Saturday, police recovered the body of a Hindu refugee at a canal in the area. The Hindus alleged Rohingyas murdered the man following a dispute over money the Muslims took as loan back home in Myanmar.

Earlier, before this incident, several Hindu refugees told bdnews24.com that Rohingya militants, not army, had attacked them in Myanmar during the conflict.

At least 10 Hindus described the attackers as 'Kala Party', who covered their face with black clothes and used Rohingya language along with Burmese and Rakhine.

A Hindu victim of the conflict, requesting anonymity for safety, said, "The Burmese usually don’t know the Rohingya language. Though the attackers covered their face with dark clothes, they seemed to be Rohingyas."

A young Hindu man, who had arrived in Bangladesh before the conflict, heard about the death of his parents, sister and a nephew during the fighting.

He said his neighbours in Myanmar told him that they came under attack by Rohingya militants.

He also said he was afraid to return home in Maungdaw's Sabbazar.

"I don't know whether all the Rohingyas have crossed the border into Bangladesh," he said, expressing fear of further attack by the remaining Rohingyas in Myanmar.

An elderly Hindu man from Chikanchharhi in Rakhine said, "A terrorist group has entered Rakhine. They demand that the government recognise the Rohingyas. These terrorists tortured us."

"I said we are Hindus and we cannot call ourselves Rohingyas.

"The terrorists confined 50 to 60 people of our Parha (a part of a village) for six to seven days. We didn't even have water to drink. We fled when the fighting started after a week," he said.

"We saw from a hill that our houses were burnt," he added.

Another Hindu man said, "No one cared about the Hindus there when the fighting erupted between those two sides."

Bangladesh has condemned Myanmar for the violent persecution of Rohingyas and called for taking the refugees back.

Fear of deterioration of law and order situation has risen in Bangladesh along with the increase in the number of refugees.

Many also suspect that Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, which claimed credit for the Aug 25 attacks, has links with international terrorist groups.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher