The Border Security Force (BSF) on Saturday denied allegations of Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) that the Indian border guards have been pushing Rohingyas into the Bangladesh territory and instead blamed BGB of pushing Rohingyas into India.
A statement issued by BSF sector headquarters at Shalbagaan here this afternoon said, “On 18th Jan 2019, at about 08.30 pm, Lt Col Gomal Kabir, Commanding Officer Border Guards Bangladesh made a telephone call to Sh. Ratnesh Kumar, BSF Commandant and informed that they have detained 31 Rohingya Muslims near BP No.2029/3-S at International Border. Commanding Officer of 25 BGB insisted BSF Commandant to take over those Rohingya inside the Indo-Bangladesh Border (IBB) Fencing. He also alleged that BSF have been pushing Rohingyas into Bangladesh Territory. However, BSF Authorities strictly denied any such attempt and refuted the allegation…”
BGB’s allegations against BSF was recently published in Bangladesh’s media. The BSF statement issued on Saturday “refuted” media reports and said that search operations and on-the-spot verification was held in the area but no “tell-tale signs” of illegal crossing of Rohingyas from Indian Territory into Bangladesh were found.
A BSF Public Relations Officer (PRO) in Tripura informed that BSF has always stressed on the accountability of their actions. He added that there was no such plan of helping Rohingyas gain access into the neighbouring soil at any point in time.
Earlier in 2017, 12 Rohingya persons were apprehended in Tripura and 62 Rohingyas were arrested in different parts of Tripura last year.
The BSF statement further claimed that they received intel from “reliable sources”, which indicate that BGB brought a group of Rohingyas from the interiors of Kasba Upazila in the neighbouring country, falsely displayed them as apprehended and detained them near the Indian border. It was done under a specific strategic plan, the statement reads.
However, no explanation was provided about the “strategic plan” of the Bangladesh border security personnel.
In October 2017, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued a letter, which had ordered immediate steps to all state governments to identify and monitor Rohingya refugee. MHA Joint Secretary Dilip Kumar had said in the letter that the Government of India viewed “infiltration” from the Rakhine State of Myanmar into Indian territory as a burden on limited resources of the country and claimed it aggravated security challenges of the country.
The MHA asked Tripura and other states to detect and deport illegal immigrants.
Myanmar’s military regime stripped Rohingya Muslims of their nationality as per the Burma Citizenship Law, 1982. Since then, many who fled the country were living in refugee camps in Bangladesh. Some tried to return home. Over the years, the condition in the Arakan did not significantly improve. The UNHCR termed alleged mass killings and burnings of Rohingya villages by Myanmarese Army as ‘ethnic cleansing’.