September 22, 2013
With the arrest of 107 Rohingya Muslims over the past three months for illegally trying to enter West Bengal, the Border Security Force (BSF) has taken up the matter with the Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB).
Senior BSF officers, who were part of the delegation at the Director General-level talks held in Dhaka earlier this month, told The Hindu here on Sunday that they had urged the BGB “not to push them” into India.
Owing to ethnic violence in Myanmar, Rohingya Muslims had been moving into Bangladesh over the last few years. From there they enter India in large numbers taking the help of touts, according to Additional Director General (East) BSF, B.D. Sharma.
BSF authorities pointed out that such infiltration had been occurring near the border outposts in West Bengal’s Dakshin Dinajpur, Nadia, Malda and North 24 Parganas districts.
During talks with the BGB, the BSF authorities pointed out that there were some refugee camps of Rohingya Muslims along the border and from there, people were trying to enter India.
The BSF, however, was told that the United Nations High Commission on Refugees had set up the camps and there was nothing the BGB could do about them. “But the impression we were given by those arrested was that the camps are run by Bangladesh,” an officer said.
The BGB authorities said that the influx of refugees was a problem for them too and “they are as much a victim as we are.” The BGB officials reportedly said that the influx was because of a humanitarian crisis and they had no role in pushing them into India.