Rohingya man shot dead in Bangladesh

Alleged human trafficker killed in gunfight as Myanmar starts to send more Rohingyas to Bangladesh

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

A 30-year-old Rohingya man accused of human trafficking was shot dead in Bangladesh on Monday, as the country receives more migrants from Myanmar.

Bangladeshi police said the man died in a gunfight between two rival trafficking groups in border town of Teknaf, where 32,000 registered Rohingya refugees live in two camps, as well as between 200,000 and 300,000 undocumented Rohingya.

"He was charged with at least three human trafficking offences and his name was in the list of human traffickers prepared by the home ministry," local police chief Ataur Rahman told AFP, referring to the deceased man.

However, a Rohingya community leader told AFP that the man, who he identified as Amanullah, was a resident of the Nayapara refugee camp and had been shot dead while in police custody.

Rohingya migrants in Bangladesh said Amanullah was the sixth person who was shot dead during a gunfight with the police, what they call "in fake encounters" that unarmed migrants killed after a staged confrontations.

Meanwhile, more Rohingyas have been landed in Bangladesh as Myanmar started to transfer the migrants who found adrift at sea to the country on Monday. About 150 Rohingya migrants were returned to the camps that they fled.

The first group of men were sent to Bangladesh through a bridge over the Naf River that separates the two countries, according to AFP. The fate of 733 others is still unclear.

Since the start of May, thousands of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar have embarked a perilous journey to Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia to flee persecution and discrimination.

Around 4,500 of them have landed, but the UN estimates about 2,000 others are still on the water. In Thailand and Malaysia, trafficking camps have been discovered in jungles, with dozens of mass graves belong to murdered migrants.

Myanmar, which has long been accused of persecuting its Rohingya minority and denies them citizenship, does not accept responsibility for the migrant crisis in South Asian waters. The country's navy has recently found two boats crammed with Rohingya migrants and after keeping them at sea for three days, the officials said the migrants will be sent to Bangladesh.

Myanmar police have arrested more than 90 people for human trafficking offences this year, media reported on Monday, but no cases have been uncovered in relation to trafficking of Rohingya Muslims.

Long-persecuted Rohingya Muslim minority live in displacement camps in Myanmar's Rakhine State, with heavy restrictions on movements, jobs opportunities, education and having children.

But Buddhist hardliners, who attacked and killed hundreds of Rohingya Muslims in 2012, are still angry as they protests "local authorities' help" of boat people.

TRTWorld and agencies