Friday, February 21, 2020 | ePaper

7 criminal gangs active

43 Rohingya murdered in camps, 32 killed in gunfights in 2 yrs

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Staff Reporter :
Over 11 lakh Rohingyas, who were forced out of their motherland and found shelter in Bangladesh on humanitarian ground, have turned into hotbeds of crime.
Criminal gangs, active in the camps, often lock into bloody confrontations over control of markets, Yaba smuggling, and human trafficking.
A total of 43 Rohingyas were killed in the last two years in what have been described as internal conflicts among these gangs. During this period, 32 others died in alleged gunfights with security forces.  Nearly 1,100 Rohingyas have been accused in 471 cases - 208 of them related to narcotics - since the influx began in August 2017.
Sources in police and locals said,  seven criminal gangs are active at the camps in Ukhiya and Teknaf. The 'Abdul Hakim group' is the most notorious of them. It's members are accused of abduction, extortion, killing, Yaba  smuggling, human trafficking and rape.
Ukhiya Upazila Parishad Chairman Prof Hamidul Haque Chowdhury said that  it is very difficult to control the Rohingyas living at 33 camps.
Locals are suffering from insecurity and anxiety after bids to send back the refugees to their homeland in Myanmar's Rakhine State fell through twice.
The involvement of Rohingyas in crimes and their aggressive attitude are putting them at loggerheads with the locals and the law enforcers. The tipping point was the killing of locals.
On Friday, hundreds of agitated locals barged into a Rohingya camp and vandalised makeshift houses and NGO offices following the murder of a local Jubo League leader in Teknaf.
Since 2017, two other locals were killed, allegedly by Rohingyas, while there have been reports of attacks on police and harassment of journalists by the forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals.
Palangkhali Union Parishad Chairman M Gafur Uddin Chowdhury said that the camps have become a heaven for Yaba trade and crime. "The locals have become helpless and are living in fear."

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