AGARTALA: The Border Security Force (BSF) has strongly refuted claims by Bangladeshi border guards' "unfounded allegation that the BSF has been pushing Rohingyas into Bangladeshi territory", an official release said here on Saturday.
"On Friday night, Border Guards Bangladesh's (BGB) Lt. Col. Gomal Kabir over phone informed BSF Commandant Ratnesh Kumar that they have detained 31 Rohingya Muslims along the International Border (with Western Tripura). The BGB commandant insisted the BSF Commandant to take over those Rohingyas inside the India-Bangladesh Border Fencing," a BSF release said.
It said that the BGB Commanding Officer, who is the commandant of 25 Battalion of the BGB, also alleged that the BSF has been pushing Rohingyas into Bangladeshi territory. "BSF commandant firmly denied any such attempt and refuted the allegation as published in Bangladesh media," the release added. It also said that during the search of the area and spot verification, there were no signs of any illegal crossing of Rohingyas from the Indian territory to Bangladesh.
A senior BSF official said that during the past year, 62 Rohingya Muslims had entered India (Tripura) illegally. He said that the Rohingyas have illegally entered Tripura and a few other northeastern states via Bangladesh in search of jobs and temporary works. But subsequently, they were pushed back following legal and security formalities.
Over 700,000 Rohingyas have fled Myanmar's Rakhine state since August 2017 after a wave of persecution and violence that the UN described as an attempt at "ethnic cleansing". Efforts are on to repatriate them. Tripura shares an 856-km border with Bangladesh, most of which is fenced except a stretch of nearly 20 km.
Other than Tripura, the other northeastern states sharing the 1,880-km International Border with Bangladesh are Meghalaya (443 km), Mizoram (318 km) and Assam (263 km).