POST TIME: 18 December, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Foreigners’ entry to Rohingya camps restricted

Foreigners’ entry to Rohingya camps restricted

The authorities concerned have restricted foreigners’ entry into the Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar, fearing they might radicalise some Rohingya youths in the name of providing humanitarian aid. It has been alleged that a number of foreigners are visiting various Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar hiding their identities to radicalise the Rohingya youths to commit various ‘crimes’, sources in the home ministry and the intelligence agencies have said.

According to the sources, local district administration and law-enforcement agencies are urging the authorities concerned, especially the department of passport and immigration, to take stern measures over issuing visa-on-arrival facility and tourist visas to the foreigners visiting the Rohingya camps.

Additional superintendent of police of Cox’s Bazar Mohammad Iqbal Hossain has told The Independent that they have restricted foreigners’ entry to the Rohingya camps.

“As far as I know no foreigners have entered any Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazaar in the last one month,” he said.

“We’ve received a number of allegations against some foreigners. They have held secret meetings with some Rohingya people hiding their identities for motivating the Rohingyas on various issues,” he added.

“We have detained some foreigners from the Rohingya camps a few months ago and freed them later,” he informed.

According to an intelligence report, an advocate named Rajiya Sultana has opened an NGO named Rohingya Women Welfare Association (ROWWA) at the Kutupalong Rohingya camp on July 12 and she provides Tk three lakh to run the NGO in the name of humanitarian assistance.

She recruited as many as 25 Rohingya youths as volunteers to run the organisation and she is motivating the Rohingyas inside the camps to do unruly activities, the report says.

Avedeev Sergei, a Russian citizen bearing passport no. 9227124 and another Russian citizen Advee Aleksander (passport no-9226732) have visited a Rohingya camp hiding their real identities in Cox’s Bazar and they met seven Rohingyas. Both landed in the country after they were given visas on arrival.

The intelligence report has mentioned a number of foreigners, such as British-Bangladeshi citizens Mohammad Areeb Ullah, Kaamil Arzumand Ahmed and Iqbal Murtuza Khan, Myanmar citizen Sai Soe Lwin and Pakistani-origin Mohammed Shoaib Tariq. They have been frequently visiting the camps and their movements are suspicious, the report has added.

The report states that Mohammed Shoaib Tariq has visited the camps twice through visa-on-arrival facility.

It also warns the government that members of foreign intelligence agencies are likely to commit sabotage inside the Rohingya camps. The Rohingya youths can be handpicked by some political parties to destabilise the law and order situation ahead of the next national polls, it states.

After receiving the report, the Public Security Service Division of the home ministry has asked the chiefs of the law enforcement agencies and the ministries concerned to take necessary steps. At least 1,100,000 Rohingya refugees have taken shelter in Bangladesh since August 25, 2017.