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'Not Our Concern’: Bangladesh Home Minister Says After Border Guards Push 31 Refugees Into India

Asaduzzaman Khan said, Bangladesh had already stepped up to take responsibility of those who are directly seeking asylum by entering through the Myanmar border, but those who enter from other areas “are not our concern.”

Sujit Nath | News18.com

Updated:January 24, 2019, 2:30 PM IST
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'Not Our Concern’: Bangladesh Home Minister Says After Border Guards Push 31 Refugees Into India
BSF officials with members of Rohingya Muslim community in one of the tents along the zero line.
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West Bengal: Bangladesh home minister Asaduzzaman Khan on Thursday said there was no question of his government taking in the 31 Rohingya Muslims who were allegedly pushed back to India by Border Guards Bangladesh after they entered the nation’s territory.

Speaking to News18, Khan said, “The Rohingyas should not be pushed into Bangladesh, as they are not Bangladeshi nationals.”

He said Bangladesh had already stepped up to take responsibility of those who are directly seeking asylum by entering through the Myanmar border, but those who enter from other areas “are not our concern.”

“We are already taking care of nearly 11 lakhs Rohingya Muslims and they are living in restricted areas. It’s a huge financial burden on us. We will not allow them to enter our territory from Indian side,” he said.

When asked about the Myanmar government’s stand on Rohingya Muslims, Khan said that it’s important for them to take initiatives to resolve the issue.This is there internal issue. How long we will keep these Rohingyas in Bangladesh? Myanmar government should take responsibility to resolve this crisis.”

The 31 people had been stuck in ‘zero line’ beyond the barbed wire fence along the Indo-Bangladesh border in Tripura since Friday, and had to spend two nights in the open in the cold weather.

The BSF believes that this group, which includes six men, nine women and 16 children, travelled from Rohingya camps in Jammu to Tripura, stayed on for some days before trying to cross over to Bangladesh where their extended families live.

The BSF had on Tuesday handed over all 31 of them to the Tripura police, ending a standoff with its counterpart, the BGB, on the issue. The group will now be tried for violations of the Indian passport Act.

On August 2017, nearly 7 Lakh Rohingya Muslims fled Rakhine following a crackdown launched by the Myanmar Army against Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, triggering a humanitarian crisis. Most of them took shelter in Bangladesh, while some are staying at various camps in India.

The central government wants to push them back due to security concerns, while human rights organizations demand that the government should chalk out elaborate plans for the marginalised group’s welfare as there is an impending threat to their existence.

| Edited by: Zoya Mateen
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