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Local people extort money from refugees

Teknaf,Bangladesh: Local youths are extorting money from the Rohingya refugees afterimposing curfew against the Rohingyas along the border of Cox’sBazar district by the government, said a refugee on condition ofanonymity.

“Localyouths collect money Taka 30 from unregistered and registeredrefugees of Kutupalong camps who go to forest for collectingfirewood. The unregistered refugees live nearby official Kutupalongcamp.”

Accordingto sources, many unregistered refugees have to go to the forest tocollect firewood because they have no any alternative way to feedtheir family members. They bring firewood from the forest and sell itin the local markets for their survival.

Theunregistered refugees have been living in Kutupalong makeshift campsince long without supporting by the UNHCR and government ofBangladesh.

OnOctober 6, over 20 unregistered Rohingya refugees including someofficial refugees went to forest without paying money to some localyouths. The local gang leader is Shajan, said a refugee.

Ontheir return after collecting wood, they were arrested and severelybeaten up in the forest by local youths of Kutupalong locality.

Afterbeating up, they were released by taking Taka 1000 to 2000 per head.But, five unregistered refugees were kept in the forest as they wereunable to fulfill their demand. So, they were severely tortured andreleased without taking money at about 8:00 pm.

Anotherrefugee rickshaw puller said, “I am not able to work outside of thecamp as the government has imposed curfew along the border area ofCox’s Bazar. So, my family members are suffering from starvation.

TheRickshaw puller also said that many Rohingya refugees are strugglingwith their survival in the camps, but the government has alleged usthat Rohingyas refuge involved in the Ramu incident.

ARohingya refugee leader told the Kaladanpress, “I don’t believethat Rohingyas involved in the Ramu incident. It was an allegationagainst us by some Buddhist monks and government.”

Therefugee leader also said that the Rohingyas have no place to goanywhere like in Arankan state, many Rohingya Muslims have beenkilled by Burmese government and Rakhine mobs. Also in Bangladesh,the government and monks accused that the refugee were involved in Ramu riots