Eighteen Rohingya refugees were arrested in Tripura’s Khowai district on Thursday for entering the country illegally, The Telegraph reported. The group was en route to Delhi in search of employment.
Khowai Superintendent of Police Krishnendu Chakravertty said 11 men, three women and four children were detained after the Guwahati-bound bus they were travelling in was stopped following a tip-off.
Chakravertty said their route was unclear but it is suspected that they crossed over from Chittagong in Bangladesh. “They were going to Vikasnagar in Delhi,” he said. “The arrested persons have claimed that more Rohingyas are living in Delhi and that there is an abundance of odd jobs there,” according to The Telegraph.
Sub-inspector of Tripura police, Ranjit Debnath, said six of the arrested members were able to show their identity cards that the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees had provided them. “The remaining did not have identity cards,” Debnath told ANI. “The identity cards revealed that they were citizens of Myanmar, taking refuge in India. We are interrogating them.”
Tripura shares an 856-km border with Bangladesh, most of which is fenced except a stretch of nearly 20 km. In January, six Rohingya refugees were arrested from Dharmanagar railway station in North Tripura district.
Border Security Force Tripura Frontier Inspector General SR Ojha said that since 2015, many Rohingyas have entered Tripura and other northeastern states via Bangladesh, according to The Hindustan Times.
Over 6,70,000 Rohingyas, a mainly Muslim minority have fled Myanmar’s northwestern province of Rakhine since August following a violent crackdown by the country’s security forces. The refugees have accused the troops of rape, torture, arson and murder. The United Nations has called the violence an attempt at “ethnic cleansing”.