Thirty-one Rohingya trapped in no-man’s land after trying to cross into Bangladesh were transported by India’s Border Security Force (BSF) to a prison in Tripura state on Tuesday, after a second group was removed from a bus and taken into custody the night before, officials said.
The detention of the first group of Rohingya occurred after BSF members and their Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) counterparts failed to agree on what to do with the refugees who tried to cross the frontier on Friday night, a senior Indian official said.
“The group of Rohingya was stuck near the Raimora border outpost in no-man’s land along the India-Bangladesh border for nearly three days. The 31 Rohingyas were taken around 11 a.m. Tuesday to the Amtoli police station in Tripura and were charged with illegal infiltration under the Foreigners Act,” the senior BSF official who requested anonymity told BenarNews, an RFA-affiliated online news service, by phone.
The Home Ministry had approved taking the group into custody, the official said, adding that Bangladeshi and Indian personnel had accused each other of trying to push the Rohingya Muslims across the border.
“Information was received from reliable sources that BGB brought Rohingya from their side to push them into India,” BSF said in a news release.
The Indian official said the Rohingya were given “comfortable” temporary accommodations.
On Monday night, 30 Rohingya, including 12 children, were arrested in Assam – another northeastern Indian state that borders Bangladesh – after they boarded a bus, police said. The detainees were interrogated by Assam police before being produced in a court and remanded to judicial custody on Tuesday.
Since early December about 1,300 fled India, settling in Bangladesh refugee camps, according to Bangladesh’s commissioner for Refugee Relief and Rehabilitation. In India, the leader of a New Delhi-based NGO, the Rohingya Human Rights Initiative, said Rohingya feared an immigration crackdown by the central government.