11 police outposts to be upgraded to police stations in Tripura
Earlier, 31 Rohingyas detained by BSF and handed over the Amtali police station. Credit: EastMojo image File

Agartala: Twenty-five detained Rohingya Muslims, including 17 children, were released following the payment of bail bond in court on Monday.

As per official sources, those released are a part of the 62 Rohingyas who were detained from various parts of Tripura last year.

Talking to EastMojo, a representative of the Rohingya Refugee Community (RCC) – New Delhi said that the judicial magistrate of Tripura ordered the release of the 25 Rohingya Muslims after a bail bond of Rs 5,000 per person was paid for by the committee.

Advocate Prasenjit Debnath, who moved the bail petition on behalf of the Rohingya Muslims, said that the judicial magistrate has also granted bail for six others after a bail amount of Rs 30,000 per person is paid on the day when they would be produced in court again.

Mohammad Shaqir, a Rohingya field coordinator for the RRC-New Delhi, paid the bail amount on behalf of the Rohingya Muslims on Monday. Talking to media persons, he said, “The court has granted bail but the amount is huge. Therefore, I need to go back to Delhi and get the bail amount for the rest of them.”

The timeline

The released Rohingya immigrants were part of that group who were stranded in ‘no man’s land’ along the Bangladesh border near West Tripura since January 18. They were, however, taken over by the Border Security Force (BSF) on January 22

The 31 immigrants, including six men, nine women and 16 children, were allegedly stuck over a blame game between the border guards of the two neighbouring countries over their refuge.

Around the same time, 30 more Rohingya immigrants, including nine women and 12 children, were reportedly apprehended along the Tripura-Assam border on January 21.

They were reportedly arrested from a Guwahati-bound bus at Churaibari along the inter-state border, after they had boarded the bus from Agartala.

More recently, seven children belonging to the Rohingya community were detained at a railway station in northern Tripura adjoining Assam on February 3.

According to an RPF official, the six girls and a boy, all under 18 years of age, were detained at the Dharmanagar railway station. They were handed over to Tripura police for further formalities, the official added.

The children were accompanied by touts and were coming from Agartala to go to Badarpur in southern Assam.

The touts, however, managed to escape from the spot, said the official.

31 Rohingya Muslims, mostly children, were stranded in ‘no man’s land’ along the Bangladesh border near West Tripura for four days before finally being detained by the BSF on Jan 22

The Rohingya crisis

Rohingyas are ethnically from the Rakhine State in Myanmar, previously known as Arakan. They have been persecuted by Myanmar’s military since the country’s independence in the late 1940s. Different Rohingya villages in Rakhine state in south-west Myanmar faced a military crackdown by the Myanmarese Army in the wake of a deadly attack on an Army post by Rohingya rebels in 2016. The military crackdown, which started in August 2017, led to mass exodus of Rohingya men, women and children to all nearby nations, especially Bangladesh.

In a letter issued in October 2017, the Union ministry of home affairs (MHA) ordered immediate steps to all state governments to identify and monitor Rohingya refugees. In the letter, MHA joint secretary Dilip Kumar said that the government of India viewed “infiltration” from the Rakhine state of Myanmar into Indian territory as a burden on limited resources of the country and claimed it aggravated security challenges to the country.

Tripura has an 856-km-long international border with Bangladesh, most of which is fenced except a stretch of nearly 20 km.

Myanmar’s military regime stripped Rohingya Muslims of their nationality as per the Burma Citizenship Law, 1982. Since then, many who fled the country were living in refugee camps in Bangladesh. Some tried to return home. Over the years, the condition in the Arakan was not found to have significantly improved. The UNHCR termed alleged mass killings and burnings of Rohingya villages by Myanmarese Army as ‘ethnic cleansing’.

According to the Union ministry of home affairs, there are about 40,000 Rohingya Muslims spread across Delhi, Hyderabad, Jammu, and Kanpur. The UNHCR, however, has put the number of registered refugees at 18,000.

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