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Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Language barrier in grilling Rohingya Muslims

Courtesy: The Times of India, Kolkata

KOLKATA: Know the Rohingya language? You may have a job waiting with the Border Security Force (BSF).

Rohingya Muslims, originally from Myanmar, are sneaking into India from Bangladesh through the districts of North 24-Parganas and Nadia but officials of the BSF's South Bengal frontier aren't able to interrogate them as they don't speak English, Hindi, Urdu, Bangla or any known Indian language.

This is leading to problems as Indian intelligence agencies have information that Rohingyas, forced to leave Myanmar, are now receiving training from outfits like the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT). India has already alerted Bangladesh of this in the home secretary-level talks convened in July this year.

"Though we haven't received any indication as yet that the Rohingyas apprehended along the Indo-Bangla border have been involved in any crime, interrogating them is a major problem. As we don't know their language, we have to get experts from universities or other agencies to act as interpreters. Unlike illegal migrants from Bangladesh, it is difficult to send them back across the border. For Bangladeshis, we issue a One Time Permit and send them back. This is not possible with the Rohingyas. There are certain United Nations guidelines that have to be followed. Our government has held talks with foreign embassies on this subject," said Santosh Mehra, inspector general, BSF (South Bengal Frontier).

This year, till August, the BSF apprehended 107 Rohingyas. Nine of them were nabbed in August alone. According to Mehra, the phenomenon has shown a marked increase in the last couple of months.

"From what we have gathered, they are trying to spread across the country from Bengal. They choose the location to cross over depending on rail connectivity. That is why they select North 24-Parganas and Nadia. The movement is at a nascent stage now," he said when asked whether the Rohingyas are headed for a large camp that supposedly exists near Srinagar.

According to Indian intelligence agencies, outfits like the LeT, Jamaat-ud-Dawah and Jaish-e-Mohammad are exploiting the Rohingyas' intentions to begin strife along the Bangla-Myanmar border. The camps at the CHT are allegedly organized with help from NGOs like Rohingya Solidarity Organisation. Community members are receiving training in arms handling and assembling of IEDs at these camps. Indian security agencies haven't ruled out the involvement of Rohingyas in the Bodh Gaya serial blasts.

"Bangladesh has assured India that it will look into the matter of training camps in the CHT. We have specific information that LeT and Jamaat-ud-Dawah created an outfit known as Difa-e-Musalman Arakan (Burma). This outfit was assigned to tie-up with Islamic organizations in Myanmar and Bangladesh. There are several other terror groups that are involved with the Rohingyas. While the Rohingyas are receiving funds from Saudi Arabia, weapons are apparently being sourced from Thailand," an official said.

1 comment:

  1. So called Rohingyas are originally from Chittagong.They are illegal settler of Rakhaing state, now spread out all over in Myanmar. Their's language is Chittagongian language. Any
    Bengali from Chittagong can halp as interpreters.