Bangladesh steps up security along border with India amid Rohingya refugee concern

Dhaka: Bangladesh has tightened security along its western border with India amid concern that hundreds of Rohingya Muslim refugees could be pushed into its territory, officials said on Sunday.

Patrols have been stepped up along the frontier with West Bengal, where border guards say they have been ordered in recent weeks to steer Rohingya into Bangladesh.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Tariqul Hakim, an area commander of the Border Guard Bangladesh, said Rohingya could be seen gathering opposite the Putkhali frontier post, where just a narrow river divides the two countries.

"We have stepped up surveillance and patrols so that no Rohingya can be pushed into our territory," Lieutenant Colonel Hakim told AFP.

Hakim said Rohingya communities inside India could be trying to reunite with their families in southeast Bangladesh, where more than half a million Rohingya refugees have arrived since August from Myanmar.

An estimated 5,36,000 refugees have crossed since August 25, fleeing violence in western Myanmar described by the United Nations as ethnic cleansing.

An Indian border guard in West Bengal told AFP that patrols had previously turned over all Rohingya intercepted at the frontier to local police.

"But now our directions are very clear, and that is to push all Rohingya into Bangladesh," he told AFP on condition of anonymity.

"We are trying to accomplish our task with active local support".

Bangladesh already hosts at least 8,00,000 Rohingya, including those who fled earlier crackdowns in Myanmar and does not want to accept any from India.

It is trying to repatriate the Rohingya to Myanmar. But the stateless Muslim minority are reviled in the mainly Buddhist nation and considered to be illegal immigrants.

The unprecedented influx of refugees has put immense pressure on Bangladeshi authorities and charities, who have described the crisis as one of the world's most pressing humanitarian emergencies.


Updated Date: Oct 15, 2017 21:35 PM

Also Watch

Social Media Star: Abhishek Bachchan, Varun Grover reveal how they handle selfies, trolls and broccoli
  • Monday, July 16, 2018 It's a Wrap: Soorma star Diljit Dosanjh and Hockey legend Sandeep Singh in conversation with Parul Sharma
  • Monday, July 16, 2018 Watch: Dalit man in Uttar Pradesh defies decades of prejudice by taking out baraat in Thakur-dominated Nizampur village
  • Monday, July 16, 2018 India's water crisis: After govt apathy, Odisha farmer carves out 3-km canal from hills to tackle scarcity in village
  • Sunday, July 15, 2018 Maurizio Sarri, named as new Chelsea manager, is owner Roman Abramovich's latest gamble in quest for 'perfect football'

Also See