Is Barak Valley emerging as safe corridor for Rohingyas to enter Manipur and Mizoram?

Is Barak Valley emerging as safe corridor for Rohingyas to enter Manipur and Mizoram?

Special Correspondent

Silchar: The way Rohingyas are crossing Indo-Bangladesh border to enter Tripura and from there moving all the way through Barak Valley for destinations in Manipur and Mizoram can’t but raise many intriguing questions, most important, is this valley emerging as safe passage for them? After gory ethnic conflict in Myanmar, Rohingyas in large number were forced to desert their hearths and homes. As a humanitarian gesture, Bangladesh came forward to open relief camps for these helpless Rohingyas in Coax’s Bazar. How many have trespassed into the northeast, there is no definite information. But that they are trickling in Assam and taking shelter with their sympathizers is worrisome. In recent time, 3 Rohingiyas were detained by railway protection force at Lumding junction.

Just three days back, a group of Rohingya girls sheltered somewhere in this valley were making their way to Mizoram in a Sumo at dead of night. At the entry point of Vereingte check gate, the Mizoram police on suspicion detained the vehicle. The driver identified as Kajal Roy and the Rohingya, eight in number including two teens, were taken into custody for questioning. Kajal Roy simply said at the instruction of Sumo owner Amrul Ahmed of Kabuganj, he was taking them to Aizawl. These girls have been identified as Tyaiba Begum, Rubina Begum, Tasmin Begum, Sukhu Begum, Noor Kayas Begum, Atrija Begum, Samwar Begum and Saminar Begum. All are between 18 to 22 years. They hail from Mandu town of Myanmar.

The girls were lured by some middlemen from the Coax’s Bazar refugee camp to be taken to Malaysia for jobs. How they landed here remains a mystery. From all indications and according to the inputs from Vereingte police of Mizoram, these girls have been trapped by human traffickers. Mizoram police is investigating it from all possible angles in order to reach the root of this serious development. A few days back, 8 Rohingiyas including 4 young girls were picked up from the house of Siribul Islam Barbhuiya of Saidpur, Sonabarighat, 8 km from here. Siribul was arrested by Assam police and put on trial and jailed for sheltering the Myanmar citizens.

The teenaged girls were sent to an observation home. The masterminds who brought the women all the way from Coax’s Bazar, Md Riaz and Amir Khan, in the face of cross-examination by police, made contradictory statements only to land in jail. They were all booked under the Foreigners’ Act of 14(a) and 14(b). But, from all indications, the girls including teens are being lured for human trafficking. Utpal Chanda, the investigation officer attached to Rangirkhari police station, did admit the seriousness of the problem, but left many questions unanswered. This is no doubt a serious problem and calls for effective steps by administrative and security agencies to check the entry of Rohingiyas. This has raised many questions about our border management and effectiveness of the series of check gates at interstate and inter-district check gates.

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