14 Rohingya refugees held from train in North Bengal

14 Rohingya refugees held from train in North Bengal

Representative image: iStock Photo

At least 14 Rohingya refugees, who had fled Cox's Bazar camps in Bangladesh and illegally entered India through the border in Tripura, have been arrested from a New Delhi-bound train in North Bengal.

Based on a tip-off from a passenger provided over Indian Railways' toll-free security helpline number 182, the Myanmarese nationals, including women and children, were detained at New Jalpaiguri in North Bengal on Tuesday from Agartala-New Delhi special Rajdhani Express.

The security helpline number proved to be very helpful leading to the arrest of the foreign nationals. Alipurduar security control of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) received a call from an on-train passenger on the Security Helpline No 182 regarding misbehaviour by some passengers onboard Agartala – New Delhi Special Rajdhani Express.

The RPF official of Alipurduar immediately informed their counterparts at New Jalpaiguri under the Katihar division where the said train had the next scheduled stoppage.

"The officers and staff of RPF and GRP from New Jalpaiguri checked the train and found that 14 passengers who boarded the train from Badarpur in Tripura were detected by the train superintendent of not having any legal document or identity cards of being Indian citizens," chief public relations officer of Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR), Subhanan Chanda said in a statement on Thursday.

New Jalpaiguri falls under NFR headquartered at Maligaon in Guwahati.

Chanda said ticket details revealed that they were travelling on tickets generated on other names. "During interrogation at New Jalpaiguri police station, it was found that all of them fled the refugee camp of Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh and entered India," he said.

Over 100 Rohingya refugees have been arrested in Assam and Tripura in the past few months but this is for the first time that it was found that the Rohingyas fled the Cox's Bazar refugee camps. 

An estimated 9,00,000 Rohingya refugees fled the Rakhine state of Myanmar bordering Bangladesh following an ethnic clash and have been taking shelter in crowded settlements in Cox's Bazar. Over 7,40,000 are thought to have been fled Myanmar since August 2017.