West Bengal slightly friendly to Rohingyas: BSF DG

Rohingya Muslim refugees offering prayers at a camp at Kelambakkam in Chennai. PTI file photo

Asserting that there has been no large-scale influx of Rohingyas into India, BSF Director General K K Sharma on Friday said more and more people from Myanmar move to West Bengal as it is a state perceived to be "slightly friendly" to them.

His comments came at a press conference he attended along with his Bangladeshi counterpart Maj General Mohd Shafeenul Islam after the conclusion of the 47th Border Co-ordination Conference between Director Generals of Border Security Force (BSF) and Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB).

Sharma said that they are aware that a large number of Rohingyas are assembled in Bangladesh and small groups try to enter India.

However, he said, the BSF has not allowed them to succeed in their ventures.

"There has not been any large-scale influx of Rohingyas into India. Whatever Rohingyas are already there in the country. In fact, they are also under pressure at some places; so they are going to West Bengal, a state which is slightly friendly with them. They have set up camps for Rohingyas coming from within the country and not from Bangladesh," Sharma said.

The BSF got an inquiry done on the presence of Rohingyas in West Bengal and it was found that there were about 70 odd families who had come from various Rohingya camps within India.

Shafeenul Islam said there are a large number of Rohingyas along the Bangladesh-Myanmar border but the BGB and other agencies are keeping them confined to the area allocated to them.

"But yet, in very few cases, they are slipping out of the camps and we are finding them in some other parts of Bangladesh," he said.

"Rohingyas' movement from Myanmar is not migration. They have been forcibly displaced. This is a political decision and at the political level, the Bangladesh government is trying to resolve the problem with help of the international community," he said.

To another question, Shafeenul Islam said there is no large-scale infiltration or migration of people from Bangladesh into India as residents of that country now "enjoy a very good life" and the few who cross-over do so due to old cultural and family ties.

The BGB has intercepted only about 100 such people in the last six months.

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West Bengal slightly friendly to Rohingyas: BSF DG

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