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22 June, 2018 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 21 June, 2018 11:14:56 PM
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Keeping law and order in Rohingya settlements gets challenging

Violent clashes among Rohingyas rampant with other crimes
HUMAYUN KABIR BHUIYAN

The recent murder of a Rohingya leader in a settlement in Cox’s Bazar along with rampant clashes among groups of the displaced people reflects a fear that the law and order situation can get out of hand to create a chaotic situation, according to officials of the administration and the police. The days ahead would be even more challenging due to the apparent inadequate number of law enforcers to maintain law and order in the settlements where over a million frustrated people are living in a cramped condition, they said.

Feud among different Rohingya groups compounded by an increasing rate of other crimes are to blame for the ‘deteriorating’ law and order in the settlements, said the officials, adding that they are yet to find any proof of activities of Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) in the settlements.

The civil and police administrations of Cox’s Bazar are keeping Dhaka updated about the situation and asking for doing the needful to maintain peace in the settlements, they said.

On Monday night, a Rohingya leader, Md Arifullah, was hacked to death allegedly by an opposing group at the Balukhali settlement.

“We detained one Rohingya man in connection with the murder. Investigation is ongoing in this regard,” Dr AKM Iqbal Hossain, superintendent of Cox’s Bazar police, told The Independent yesterday.

To a question, he said, “As far as we can understand this killing is the result of feuds among the Rohingyas themselves and there is no evidence of the involvement of ARSA in the killing.”

It has been learnt that Arifullah, a graduate from the University of Yangon, used to work as an interpreter to describe the  misery of Rohingyas during the visits of international dignitaries to the settlements.

Earlier on October 19, Arifullah escaped an attack allegedly carried out by another group, but his younger brother Muhibullah was injured in that attack.

Following the death of Arifullah, two Rohingya groups clashed with each other

at the Nayapara camp in which about a dozen were injured.

Aside from this, clashes occasionally take place among different groups of Rohingyas.

Officials of the upazila and district administrations believe that ‘efforts to assert dominance’ in the settlements are the reasons behind these violent clashes.

They also said that the other crimes including gender-based violence are also on the rise and with the time those are feared to increase.

To a question, the officials admitted that the number of law enforcing personnel is inadequate and things can ‘spiral out of control’ if proper measures are not taken.

“Look, there are more than 11 lakh (1.1 million) people living in a small area and there are so many groupings among them and attitude of the Rohingyas is also an issue,” said SP Hossain, adding, “It is, indeed a daunting task to maintain law and order under these circumstances. But, we are doing our best.”

“I can assure you that so far the situation is under our control,” he said.

The police chief of the district said that there are 950 police personnel on-duty to maintain law and order in the settlements.

Besides, there are seven police outposts, nine check-posts and two highway check-posts, he informed.

Officials of the civil and police administration acknowledged that the resources available to maintain law and order in the settlements of over a million oppressed and traumatised people are not at all adequate.

When contacted, a senior government official concerned told this correspondent, “The deteriorating law and order situation is worrying for us and we are making every endeavour to keep things calm and quiet.”

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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