Some 32 Myanmar citizens were arrested for entering Bangladesh illegally through different borders in Lama sub-district of southeastern hill district of Bandarban yesterday and on Sunday evening.
On secret information that some Myanmar citizens, locally called Rohingya Muslims, crossing the border took shelter at Sarai, Amtali and Rupashipara areas of the sub-district, a police team in a raid arrested 18 people yesterday.
On Sunday evening, police arrested 14 Myanmar nationals from the same area. All those arrested hail from Mongdu and Buchidong areas of Arakan province of Myanmar.
The fresh influx of Myanmar Muslims into Bangladesh came as the country is in a dilemma over dealing with Rohingya refugees, who number several hundred thousand and are mostly undocumented, as more Myanmar citizens are crossing the border illegally into Bangladesh almost every day.
About 2,51,000 Rohingyas were registered between November 1991 and June 1992 and 2,37,000 of them went back home. The influx has, however, continued for several years, deepening the crisis. About 28,000 Rohingysa are currently recognised as prima facie refugees by Bangladesh and Myanmar and they live in official camps in Nayapara and Kutupalong in Cox’s Bazar district under the supervision of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
Rohingyas are not only confined to Cox’s Bazar and Chittagong districts but are also living in slums in Dhaka. The authorities consider the Rohingyas illegal “economic migrants” as many of them use Bangladesh as a transit to migrate to other countries.