MR. RAJIB SHARMA, THE NEWS: Anika Dhar, 18, gets emotional while talking to the Journalist about the persecution of Hindus in Rakhine, Rajib Sharma/ THE NEWS.
More than 500 Rohingya Hindus have crossed over to Bangladesh to escape military persecution of the minority group in Rakhine, Myanmar that began in late August
The morning of August 27 started as any other for Anika Dhar, 18, a resident of Fakira Bazar village in the Maungdaw area of Myanmar’s troubled Rakhine state.
Her husband Milon Dhar, a barber who worked at a salon in the nearby market, was preparing to go to work when a group of men wearing black uniforms burst into their home. They were armed to the teeth with guns and long knives, Anika said.
“They looted our house, then marched us with more than a hundred of our neighbours to a secluded spot,” she told the Dhaka Tribune. “They had dug holes in the ground. They shot and stabbed people and dumped the bodies into the holes.”
Milon was among those killed by the militiamen dressed in black. Over one hundred people were killed that day, according to Anika.
Anika said she was able to escape in the confusion and friendly people helped her get across the river Naf to Bangladesh.
Anika is among a small group of Hindu Rohingya who have fled to Bangladesh along with their Muslim neighbours, Rohingya Hindu men have also been killed by the Myanmar security forces during its latest crackdown on the Rohingya in Rakhine state, human rights activists say, but the number has yet to be confirmed.
Such accounts are consistent with the stories brought by the mainly Muslim Rohingya, who accuse the Myanmar military and Rakhine militias backed by the army of carrying out a campaign of ethnic cleansing against Rohingya.
At least eight Hindu women refugees, who fled to Bangladesh from Rakhine in the last few weeks, said armed men killed their husbands in front of them.
They looted our house, then marched us with more than a hundred of our neighbours to a secluded spot. They had dug holes in the ground. They shot and stabbed people and dumped the bodies into the holes
Promila Sheel, 25, said she decided to flee to Bangladesh after her husband was killed by militia.
Like Anika Dhar, Promila has found shelter at Kutupalong’s Hindu camp with roughly a hundred other families.
Anika, who is expecting a baby, said her husband Milon worked at a salon in Maungdaw’s Fakira Bazar.
“They shot him dead,” she said. “I joined the Muslims and escaped with them.”
As of Monday, more than 410,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh after the Myanmar security forces launched “security operations” targeting Rohingya villages following insurgent attacks on police posts and an army base on August 25, according to UN estimates.
Among the Rohingya refugees are more than 500 Hindus who fled the persecution in their homeland. Many of these refugees said their houses were attacked, looted and set afire by the security forces.
About 30,000 Arakanese Buddhists, Hindus and Arakanese sub-ethnic residents fled violence apart from the Rohingya, according to Myanmar-based media The Irrawaddy.
Cox’s Bazar Assistant Deputy Commissioner and Executive Magistrate AKM Lutfor Rahman said THE NEWS By A Call that out of a total of around 409,000 Rohingya in Ukhiya, 7,078 had been registered by the government by Tuesday.
More than half of the more than 400,000 Rohingya who have escaped Myanmar’s military crackdown live in makeshift sites without proper shelter, clean drinking water and sanitation.
On Tuesday, police and army officials were checking vehicles coming from the camps towards Cox’s Bazar city, after the government announced restrictions on the refugees’ movement.
The scenario was the same as the previous days, when many local people joined government agencies and NGOs to distribute relief goods to refugees in Ukhiya’s refugees camps and nearby areas.
Many of the Rohingya are suffering from a variety of diseases including diarrhea and fever, however medical teams trying to given treatment, the civil surgeon’s office said, although the teams are not enough for all.
Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader could not hold back his tears when he learnt of the horrible fate the Rohingya refugees had escaped when they fled to Bangladesh.
Highlighting the grave conditions for Rohingya refugees, aid agencies reported on September 15 that at least two children and one woman were killed in a stampede that broke out as aid was being distributed. The authorities have denied any casualties during aid distribution.