Controlling crimes by Rohingyas camped in southern Bangladesh after fleeing their homes in neighbouring Myanmar over two years ago is becoming increasingly tough for the law enforcers, who said that most of those involved were armed young men.
The crimes include drug peddling, theft, kidnapping, extortion, murder and rape.Sources said that at least 40 Rohingyas have been killed in ‘gun battle’ with RAB, Police and BGB since the Rohingya infiltration since the time they crossed into Bangladesh due to persecution by the Myanmar army.
Some of the refugees have attacked police, killed a local politician and have also killed a number Rohingyas over internal feuds, besides in the last two years 43 Rohinguas were killed in internal conflicts in camps.
Considering the worsening crime situation, the Armed Police Battalion (APBn)- 16th unit would be posted in 588 points to maintain law and order of the district and ensure security of the Rohingyas. For this newly formed unit, 588 posts have been created.
Sohel Rana, assistant inspector general (AIG) (media) at the police headquarters in Dhaka said the special unit of 16 APBn would work mainly to ensure overall security of the Rohingya camps, maintain order and restrict movement of the Rohingyas in the camps.
Additional Superintendent of Police (Administration), Iqbal Hossain said police action continued, especially against drug smuggling, including Yaba.
According to data of the Cox’s Bazar district police, 76 cases were filed against Rohingyas in 2017. The number has already risen to 187 till August 25 of last year. Around 471 cases have been filed against 1,088 Rohingya since 2017.Of these, 208 were drug cases, 43 were murder cases and 31 were related to women. The accused in these cases are 1088 Rohingya.
Law enforcement sources said the situation was became complicated after the Rohingyas got divided into different groups in favor and against their repatriation back to Myanmar.
According to police intelligence, some Rohingyas have formed different crime gangs like ‘Hit Point Group’ and ‘Al Yeakin group’.
Recently, seven suspected Rohingya robbers were killed in an alleged gunfight with RAB in Teknaf upazila of Cox’s Bazar on March 2.
On the same day, another Rohingya crime suspect was also killed in another ‘gunfight’ with the Border Guard Bangladesh in the same upazila. The newly formed 16 APBn Battalion will be headed by an officer of the rank of Superintendent of Police (SP). SP Hemayetul Islam will take over the responsibility of the newly established battalion. At the same time, the new battalion has two additional police superintendents, four assistant police superintendents (ASPs), nine inspectors, 31 sub-inspectors, 450 constables.
The 16 APBn Battalion was approved on December 18. Police Headquarters sources said it is also proposed to set up at least three police stations and multiple police investigation centers in the camp area to prevent crime and security of Rohingya. Presently, Bangladesh hosts some 11 lakh Rohingyas, of whom 743,000 came during the latest influx following the brutal military crackdown in Rakhine State beginning on August 25, 2017.