Islamists threaten marches towards Myanmar to protest repression on Muslims
November 25th, 2016 at 8:08 pm
Islamists threaten marches towards Myanmar to protest repression on Muslims

Dhaka – Several thousand Islamists on Friday paraded streets in Bangladesh asking the Myanmar authorities to stop ‘genocide on Muslims’ on the Rakhine state.

The protesters under the banner of Hefajat-e-Islam Bangladesh also urged Bangladeshi government to keep the border open to allow the persecuted Muslims to cross the border for shelter.

“It is our duty to provide shelter to the oppressed Muslims. We call the government to keep open the border to let them in with refugee status,” Junayed Babunagari, a leader of the group, asked Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at a rally in Chittagong.

Activists of the Hefajat-e-Islam Bangladesh, a radical Islamist group campaigning for Islamic law, also marched streets in the capital Dhaka after Friday prayers to protest the repression on Muslim minority group by Myanmar army in the Rakhine state.

Babunagari said the activists will begin a road-march towards Myanmar unless the “repression on Muslims’ is stopped.

The group announced a rally for December 2 in south-eastern Bangladeshi district of Cox’s Bazar bordering Myanmar to protest what the Islamists say cleansing operation against Muslims by the Burmese army.

Many Rohingya Muslims entered neighbouring Bangladesh despite the fact that Dhaka had been trying to prevent their influx. The government alerted its border guards on land and sea so that none could travel onto Bangladesh without a valid document.

Several hundred Rohingya Muslims remained stationed on boats in Naf rivers as they flee from their homes in Rakhaine state. Many others are waiting on the bank of the river to find a chance to cross the border.

Over the past weeks, more than 500 Rohingya Muslims, including women and children, slipped through the porous border into Bangladesh territory despite the vigilance, according to local residents.

The chief of Border Guard Bangladesh admitted the fact, but he did not mention the number of people crossed the border.

“The Rohingyas who entered illegally will be sent back to their homes once the situation is normalized,” Major General Abul Hossain, chief of Bangladesh’s border force, told reporters after a visit to the bordering district.

He said the paramilitary troopers have identified the loops that the intruders used and ensured that more troops will be mobilized in those places.

The border guards, put on alert after Naypyidaw launched a counter-insurgency operation in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, pushed more than 400 Rohingyas back into Myanmar as they attempted to cross different border points in the past week.

More than 100 Rohingya Muslims have reportedly been killed in the Myanmar’s counter-insurgency sweeps.

Bangladesh is already burdened with nearly 29,000 Rohingya documented as refugees have lived in two squalid camps in the Bangladeshi border district of Cox’s Bazar, ever since the 1990s, when they were driven out of Myanmar.

The number of undocumented Rohingya living in Bangladesh is estimated to be between 200,000 and 500,000.