BSF pushes back Rohingya from Tripura

BSF pushes back Rohingya from Tripura

On instructions from the Home Ministry, the Border Security Force ( BSF ) recently pushed back four Rohingya Muslims who were trying to cross over an unfenced stretch on the Bangladesh border in Tripura.

This is the first instance of Rohingya being pushed back since the Home Ministry circular on August 19 to identify and deport them. BSF had identified 75 vulnerable locations on a 21-km stretch in Tripura. This year, 17 Rohingya Muslims were caught along the Tripura and Assam border. They were handed over to the police and action is being taken against them.

The Bengali dialect they speak is different from that spoken in India and Bangladesh. It is not difficult to identify them. They could have travelled from the Cox Bazar area [a large number of Rohingya has taken shelter here] in Bangladesh all the way to the Tripura border.

In its affidavit filed in the Supreme Court on September 18, the Centre said Rohingya were a threat to national security and “some of the unauthorised Rohingya immigrants had linkages with Pakistan-based terror organisations.” It said there was an organised influx of “illegal” immigrants from Mynamar through agents and touts facilitating illegal immigration of Rohingya into India via Benapole-Haridaspur (West Bengal), Hili (West Bengal), Sonamora (Tripura), Kolkata and Guwahati.

The first four points are authorised immigration checkpoints and manned by customs, immigration and BSF officials.

Asked to clarify if Rohingya were using authorised immigration checkpoints to enter India, a Home Ministry spokesperson said “illegal immigrants avoided the legal routes”.

“Such illegal immigration takes place surreptitiously through different possible entry points,” the spokesperson said.

In June, the Home Ministry constituted yet another committee to examine various methods to curb the misuse of free movement along the Myanmar border, a friendly country, with which it shares unfenced borders and unhindered movement of people across the border. The committee, headed by Rina Mitra, Special Secretary, Internal Security, visited the border areas last week.