Rohingya refugees’ involvement in crimes has sparked fear among locals that violence might increase further if the Rohingyas cannot be repatriated immediately.
Some 1,100 Rohingya men and women have been accused and arrested in more than 450 criminal cases in the past two years.
Bangladesh government has sheltered more than 7 lakh Rohingya refugees, who fled to the country to save their lives from mass atrocities in Myanmar, since 2017, making 33 temporary Rohingya camps in Teknaf and Ukhiya.
About 46 Rohingyas have been killed in gunfights with law enforcers and in internal clashes in the camps during these two years. Of them, 32 were killed in gunfight with the law enforcers, according to police sources.
The 471 cases that have been filed against Rohingyas so far involve robbery, kidnapping, rape, drug peddling and human trafficking. Of the cases, 208 are drug related while 43 are murder cases.
A total of 1105 Rohingyas are accused in these cases.
Locals said Rohingyas are becoming desperate every day, getting involved in various crimes including robbery and murder.
Incidents like attacks on locals outside the camps are also taking place. Jubo League leader Omar Faruk was shot dead allegedly by a group of Rohingya miscreants in Hnila union of Teknaf upazila in Cox’s Bazar on Thursday.
Chairman of UkhiyaUpazila Parishad and upazila Awami League President Principal HamidulHaque Chowdhury said it is a matter of concern that the violent activities of the Rohingyas are increasing.
There are 11 lakh Rohingya refugees in different camps and it is very difficult to control this large population, he added.
Cox’s Bazar civil society leader FazlulQuader Chowdhury alleged that some NGOs are provoking Rohingyas into violent activities. In most cases, they are attacking the locals.
Cox’s Bazar Rapid Action Battalion (RAB)-15 Wing Commander Azim Ahmed said RAB was conducting a routine operation to curb crime at the Rohingya camps. RAB also arrested some Rohingyas involved in drug trafficking.
Cox’s Bazar Additional Superintendent of Police (Administration) Md Iqbal Hossain said it is normal to increase crime if a large number of refugees, who grew watching oppression, stays in one place. However, police maintain a strict stand to control the law and order of the camps.