Photo India-Bangladesh borderland
September 11, 2013
India will raise the issue of Rohingya Muslims illegally entering the country through Bangladesh when chiefs of border security forces of the two countries meet next week in Dhaka.
A senior officer said this was the first time the BSF had included the issue in its agenda, though the problem is two years old. The agenda is prepared in consultation with the Ministry of External Affairs.
BSF and Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) will meet in Dhaka for bi-annual talks beginning September 14.
The officer said 107 Rohingyas had been caught on the Bangladesh border along Nadia, Malda and North 24 Parganas in West Bengal in the past three months.
They have been lodged in district jails.
“In the past year alone, 30,000-40,000 Rohingyas have infiltrated the country using the Bangladesh transit. We will raise the issue emphatically with the BGB. All of them are using the Bangladesh route to enter India,” the officer said.
The Muslim minority living mainly in the state of Arakan in Myanmar has been fleeing the country due to an ethnic conflict with the majority Buddhist population.
“Some Rohingyas were crossing over through the Myanmar border. When we tightened security and vigil in the area, they started using the Bangladesh route. The BGB, which is present along the Myanmar border, has to make sure these people do not enter Bangladesh,” said the officer.
The officer said the “stateless people” could neither be sent back nor allowed to stay in India.
“Bangladesh does not want to accept these people. It is strange how they manage to reach India without being apprehended in the neighbouring country. We apprehend them but cannot do much after that as none of us understands their language. These are poor people and of course they do not have identification papers,” said the officer.