18 Rohingyas arrested in Tripura
Agartala (Tripura) [India], Apr 20: Eighteen Rohingya refugees, including three children and four women, were arrested on Thursday in Tripura's Khowai district for entering the country illegally. Based on specific information, the Rohingyas from Myanmar, who had illegally entered Tripura via Bangladesh, were arrested near Teliamura area. According to police the Rohingyas entered the state and were trying to go to Delhi in search of jobs. Sub-inspector of Tripura police Ranjit Debnath said, "Actually we had input that few Muslim community people from outside, may be Rohingyas, were going to Guwahati in a bus, so we stopped that bus. During the search, we found 11 male, three women along with four children all from Myanmar. Six of them were able to show their identity cards (UNHCR) but rest could not show any identity card. The identity cards revealed that they are citizens of Myanmar and took refuge in India. Their movement was suspicious and so we are interrogating them." One of the arrested Rohingya, Saifulla said, "I am here with my sister and I had come to India six months back and was staying in Delhi. Originally we are from Myanmar and came here in search of work. We had entered Agartala eight to ten days back but I do not know through which border I entered." The Rohingyas from Myanmar had illegally entered Tripura and a few other northeastern states via Bangladesh in the past in search of work. But, subsequently, they were pushed back following legal and security formalities. On January 14 this year, six Rohingya refugees were arrested from Dharmanagar railway station in North Tripura district, 170 km from here. Eight others were arrested from Khayerpur market area in West Tripura district, 10 Km from Agartala city, on November 29 last year. Over 6,70,000 Rohingyas, a mainly Muslim minority living in Myanmar, had fled the northwestern province of Rakhine in August last year after a wave of persecution and violence that the United Nations described as an attempt at "ethnic cleansing". Efforts are on to repatriate them to their homeland in Myanmar.
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