Tripura Police arrest three ‘Rohingyas’ at Dharmanagar railway station


The Tripura Police on Thursday arrested three individuals at Dharmanagar railway station in the North district after they failed to produce valid identification documents. They are suspected to be Rohingyas, the police said in Agartala today (Friday).

They have been identified as Habizor Rehman (42), Rahman Shah (19) and Mohammad Yasin (18).  “We didn’t find any valid documents from them. We have arrested them under the Foreigners Act and the Passport Act,” Dharmanagar SDPO, S Debbarma, said.

He added that during preliminary investigation, the police have come to know that the three came to Dharmanagar from Delhi and were planning to go to Bangladesh.

The police informed that a woman and her two children were also travelling with those arrested, but they were released as they had valid identity cards issued by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

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Tripura has an 856-km-long international border with Bangladesh, parts of which are still unfenced due to local issues and the semi-porous border is often used for crossing over.

According to a report of the Border Security Force (BSF), 53 Rohingyas and one Nigerian national were arrested in 2019 along the Tripura-Bangladesh border. These include the arrest of 31 Rohingyas from the no-man’s land between Indian and Bangladesh in West Tripura in January 2019 after they spent four days there.

Rohingyas are ethnically from the Rakhine State in Myanmar, previously known as Arakan, and have allegedly faced persecution at the hands of Myanmar’s military since the country’s independence in late 1940s. A military crackdown, which started in August 2017, led to a mass exodus of Rohingya men, women and children to all nearby countries, especially Bangladesh. Myanmar’s military regime had stripped Rohingya Muslims of their nationality as per the Burma Citizenship Law, 1982. Since then, many who fled the country were living in refugee camps in Bangladesh.

Through a letter in October 2017, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs had ordered all state governments to take immediate steps to identify and monitor Rohingya refugees. In January last year, former Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy had claimed that Rohingya refugees were “trickling” into India through Tripura’s border with the Chittagong Hill Tracts.

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