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Bangladesh: Mob violence in Rohingya refugee camp over drug trade, 2 ‘leaders’ hacked to death, ARSA involvement suspected

"More than a dozen Rohingya miscreants killed Maulvi Mohammad Yunus, 38, Camp 13's head majhi." Another majhi, Mohammad Anwar, 38, was also hacked. "Yunus died on the spot, and Anwar died in the hospital," Ahmed informed. A Rohingya camp leader is referred to as a 'majhi' in the local language.

On October 16, a violent mob killed two Rohingya community leaders in Bangladesh, the police said amid worsening security of the refugee camps due to internal divisions and conflicts.

Faruk Ahmed, a police spokesperson, stated that two Rohingya camp leaders were hacked to death on Saturday at Camp 13, describing the attack as one of the worst in recent months. 

“More than a dozen Rohingya miscreants killed Maulvi Mohammad Yunus, 38, Camp 13’s head majhi.” Another majhi, Mohammad Anwar, 38, was also hacked. “Yunus died on the spot, and Anwar died in the hospital,” Ahmed informed. A Rohingya camp leader is referred to as a ‘majhi’ in the local language.

The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), a terrorist group fighting the Myanmar military, carried out the targeted killings, according to a senior officer of an “elite police unit” charged with overseeing security in the camps. The officer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, added that “internal clashes in Myanmar are affecting the security situation in the camps.”

Other Rohingya leaders, in addition to the nephew of one of the victims, blamed the attack on ARSA. “ARSA assassinated my uncle last night.” My uncle always warned them not to deal in drugs. He would voluntarily oversee patrolling the camps. “They killed my uncle,” the nephew told AFP, declining to be identified out of fear for his safety. Till now, ARSA has not commented on the incident.

The police have not yet arrested or charged any suspects in connection with the violence. However, since the attack, security has been tightened in the area.

The refugee settlements in the Cox Bazar area, which house over one million Rohingya refugees, have seen an increase in violence in recent months, with various gangs vying for control of drug trafficking operations, with a particular focus on yaba methamphetamine pills, methamphetamine, and caffeine. Civilian refugee leaders have been threatened and targeted, with some kidnapped and others killed.

Mahfuzul Islam, the police chief of the Cox’s Bazar district, commented on the increase in violence by telling AFP that “at least 14 Rohingyas have been killed in the camps in just the last three months alone. In comparison to last year, the number of murders in the camp has increased.”

Several Rohingyas were charged in September with the murder of top Rohingya leader Mohib Ullah. Although the ARSA has denied involvement, Bangladeshi authorities arrested at least 8,000 suspected ARSA members in connection with Ullah’s murder in a major crackdown.

Since Myanmar’s military crackdown on Rohingyas in 2017, millions of Rohingyas have fled to Bangladesh. In recent months, violence in the squalid camps has risen as a result of several local gangs clashing to establish control over drug trafficking at the expense of killings and abductions.

Notably, in September, Sheikh Hasina, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh who visited India, in a conversation with ANI had described the Rohingya Muslims seeking sanctuary in her country as a “big burden”. She stated that her country is in contact with the international community to ensure that the Rohingyas are repatriated to Myanmar.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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