Dhaka [Bangladesh], April 16 (ANI): Authorities in Bangladesh said on Thursday that they are ready to send back more than 300 members of Rohingya Muslim minority community, who tried to enter the country in a boat from the southern coast, amid fears of coronavirus infection.
Cox's Bazar Deputy Commissioner Kamal Hossain confirmed the matter, saying that the Rohingya detained will be pushed back to Myanmar today as the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and coastguards are preparing for the move, Bangladesh daily Prothom Alo reported.
More than 300 Rohingya entered the Teknaf coast of Cox's Bazar on Wednesday night. They were later arrested and kept at Baharchara beach in Teknaf Upazila. Among the detained included 6 men, 5 women, 20 girls, and 12 boys, the authorities said.
Local residents of Teknaf demanded that the push backs needed to be handed over to the Rohingya border guards.
Now if the Rohingyas are held in a boat from one point and pushed to Myanmar, the Rohingya will enter Bangladesh again with another point because Myanmar will never allow the people of the community to enter in their territory, the authorities said.
Locals of Cox Bazaar are in a view that amid such a dire situation of coronavirus outbreak, further action can be taken by quarantining the Rohingya for five days at a specific place and testing their samples.
Teknaf Upazila Parishad chairman Nurul Alam further told the newspaper that the Rohingya camps are densely populated. "If someone is suffering from coronavirus here, it will be difficult to handle the situation. Six million people in Teknaf and Ukhia Upazila are crossing the Rohingya in utter terror," he said.
The authorities said that the detained members of the Rohingya community had made sail for Malaysia two months ago but had to turn back after failing to reach there.
Myanmar does not recognise Rohingya as citizens, and they face severe curbs on their movement as well as access to jobs, healthcare and education.
Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya fled the country in 2017 following a brutal army crackdown, and violence continues in the western state of Rakhine where some remain in squalid camps. Those forced into Bangladesh live in sprawling refugee camps near the border with Myanmar, which is under investigation at the International Court of Justice for genocide against the ethnic group.
Myanmar denies persecuting the Rohingya and says they are not an indigenous group despite having lived in the country for centuries. (ANI)