Myanmar war: 22 armed Rohingya remanded for 3 days

Another Rohingya man was not remanded as he had fallen sick in jail

Cox’s Bazar
Published : 12 Feb 2024, 10:30 AM
Updated : 12 Feb 2024, 10:30 AM

Twenty-two of the 23 Rohingya men from refugee camps in Bangladesh who crossed the border to Myanmar’s Rakhine state and returned with weapons have been remanded to police custody for interrogations.

Cox’s Bazar Senior Judicial Magisrate Srigyan Tanchanga granted police three days to interrogate the men in a decision on Monday afternoon, said Inspector Nasir Uddin Majumdar of Ukhiya Police Station.

However, the judge granted an exception to Md Sadek, the 23rd Rohingya man, as he had fallen sick in jail after his arrest.

Amid clashes at the border, 23 Rohingya managed to cross into Bangladesh near the Cox’s Bazar border in Ukhiya on Feb 6 alongside Myanmar Border Guard Police personnel fleeing the fighting.

On Feb 9, Naib Subedar Md Shahidul Islam of the BGB 34th Battalion Palankhali BOP handed them over to police alongside 12 weapons and filed a case over weapons charges as the plaintiff.

On Saturday, police brought the 23 Rohingya men before the court of Cox’s Bazar Senior Judicial Magistrate to request 10 days to interrogate them in police custody. Judge Fahmida Sattar took the matter under consideration and set Sunday for a hearing.

“The 23 Rohingya who entered from Myanmar carrying weapons are residents of camps in Ukhiya’s Balukhali and Kutupalong. For obvious reasons, they are not allowed to leave the camp and enter Myanmar.”

It is urgently necessary to interrogate them to find out where they went and why they returned with weapons, he said.

“We will take the 22 men remanded to us from the prison in Cox’s Bazar to police custody to find an answer to these questions.”

The 23 Rohingya were identified as Md Hossain Ahmed, 30, Md Rafiq, 23, Ayatullah, 30, Md Junaid, 19, Md Harun, 23, Md Kaisar, 19, Md Saber, 19, Osama, 19, Faruk, 19, Md Sadek, 19, Harun-or-Rashid, 24, Yasin Arafat, 19, Md Ismail, 19, Md Rahim, 19, Noju Molla, 38, Syed Ullah, 19, Hafez Ahmed, 19, Md Jubair, 19, Abdullah, 20, Enamul Hassan, 22, Md Raik, 24, Syedul Islam, 24, and Md Arman, 21.

The 12 firearms confiscated from the group included five submachine guns, one G-3 rifle, two pistols and four revolvers.

They were also carrying 198 rounds of SMG ammunition, 98 rounds of MG ammunition, 276 rounds of rifle shells, 103 rounds for G-3 rifles, 193 rounds for pistols, 25 empty cartridges for pistols, five rounds of grenade fuses for rifles, six magazines for the SMG, four magazines for an LMG, a G-3 magazine, and two pistol magazines.

Chattogram Deputy Commissioner Md Tofail Islam and Chattogram Police Range DIG Noor-e-Alam Mina went to the Palankhali border in Ukhiya around 11:30 pm on Monday for an inspection. There, they spoke to border residents and public representatives. Around 12:15 pm, they went to inspect the Ghumdhum border area.

Due to the border situation, examinees who were to take their SSC tests at Ghumdhum High School have been transferred to two centres inside the local government primary school.

“The situation at the border has improved a lot from before,” he said. “After inspecting the area, we can’t say the situation is unusual.”

Asked when those who fled across the border into Bangladesh, including 330 BGP personnel, would be sent back, he said that talks are ongoing between Bangladesh and Myanmar and a final decision would be taken in two or three days.

“The BGB is monitoring the situation on the border and we are supporting them,” said Chattogram Range DIG Mina. “Twenty-three people carrying weapons have been detained and a case filed against them. An investigation and other legal proceedings are ongoing in this case.”

If other ‘criminals’ enter, legal action will be taken against them, he warned.