Sunday, August 18, 2019 | ePaper

Rohingya involvement in drug trade, other crimes

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TWO more Rohingyas were killed in a reported gunfight with Border Guard Bangladesh during an anti-drug drive at Palangkhali area of Ukhiya in Cox's Bazar on Monday. Police received the bodies of Saiful Islam and Mohamed Faruk, both of them were in their early twenties and were the residents at Thyankhali refugee camp.
BGB officers claimed that they also seized 20,000 pieces of Yaba and two knives from them. With these two people, at least 361 individuals were killed or found dead across the country after the government launched anti-drug drives in the mid of May in 2018.
Earlier on April 21, another Rohingya man was killed in a gunfight with Rapid Action Battalion personnel on the Marine Drive road at Teknaf in Cox's Bazar. Officers claimed that the person was a 'drug peddler' and 10,000 Yaba pills and a gun were seized from him. The Rohingya community leaders said many of their fellow Rohingyas were killed in recent months in 'gunfights' with law enforcement agencies.
Killing Rohingyas through gunfights is another thing entirely. Rohingyas have come to Bangladesh for security, to survive the brutal onslaught of the Tatmadaw, Myanmar's rapacious army. They have been consistently denied their legitimate rights of freedom of religion and freedom of expression. They have come to Bangladesh to ensure their better future. Coming here, some of them have got involved in various crimes, including drug peddling. In this scenario killing Rohingyas without any recourse to the law is completely unjustified. In such a situation any criminal actions which they indulge in must be handled most carefully.
The local security authorities must take appropriate actions to ensure that the Rohingyas have the means to a decent livelihood. In this regard, an awareness programme could be taken to keep them detached from wrongdoings. They must not be killed in such a brutal and barbaric fashion. Obviously, we don't want the Rohingyas to abuse the hospitality which they have been given-but at the same time we must ensure that they have the rights to a free and fair trial. If we don't do this, our hospitality means nothing.

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