A Myanmar-based Rohingya was arrested from Ghutiari Sharif in West Bengal’s South 24 Parganas district for illegally entering the country, police said on Saturday.The person, identified as Mohammed Idris a resident of Myanmar’s Buthidaung town in Rakhine state, was picked up from near Ghutiari Shariff hospital late on Friday night, the police said.
Acting on a tip-off, a Baruipur district police team along with sleuths of the special task force arrested the Rohingya, a top police officer said.
“He failed to produce any valid document nor could he satisfactorily reply to questions on how he crossed the international borders.
“We had to lay a trap to arrest him. He had entered the country on Thursday night,” he said.
Since August 2017, an estimated 716,915 Rohingya refugees fled from Myanmar seeking safety and protection in Bangladesh. The population, including the pre-existing refugee population living in Bangladesh combined with new arrivals, stands at 866,457 as of December 2020.
The majority are reliant on humanitarian assistance including shelter, food, healthcare, clean water, and sanitation. As the situation entered its fourth year, UNHCR and its protection partners strive to strengthen the response mechanisms to address protection needs of the Rohingya refugees, including in a range of key cross cutting issues across sectors, each of which requires regular monitoring. The COVID-19 pandemic is negatively affecting the overall protection environment in Bangladesh. Mitigating the short- and longer- term social protection consequences of the pandemic and ensuring ways to safeguard the resilience and psychosocial well-being of refugee communities, while ensuring that protection and humanitarian space does not contract, is a priority for the UNHCR.
Initial probe revealed that Idris had spent a few weeks in a camp meant for Rohingyas in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar, he added.
“We are trying to find out whether he has entered the country alone or he was in a group and where had he planned to take shelter. We are talking to him,” the police officer said.
The accused Rohingya, who was booked under Illegal Immigration Act, was remanded for six days in police custody when produced at a court here.