Members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested five suspected members of Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), including a commander of the organisation, from various Rohingya camps in Ukhiya of Cox's Bazar. The arrestees are- ARSA commander Dr Rafiq, 54, its members-Mohammad Rafiq, 20, Nurul Amin, 34, Mohammad Rafiq, 21, and Khairul Amin, 32, residents of Ukhiya rohingya camps. Read more: Myanmar claims mortar shells fired by Arakan Army, ARSA on its border forces landed in Bangladesh Tipped off, a joint team of Armed Police Battalion (APBn) and Rab conducted drives in various Rohingya camps in Ukhiya in the early hours of Sunday, said Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) Abu Salam Chowdhury, senior assistant director (media) of Rab-15. There are several cases against the arrestees on different charges including murder, drugs and police assault. They were handed over to Ukhiya Police Station, said the officer.
Cox's Bazar Sadar Hospital will be turned to a 500-bed one from 250 beds to provide better health care to the Rohingya population and rising tourists, said Health Minister Zahid Maleque on Thursday. Besides, arrangements will be made to provide dialysis service at the hospital, said the minister. He was speaking at the inauguration of the newly built "Dr. Abdur Nur Bulbul Bhaban" at Cox's Bazar Sadar Hospital, a joint initiative of Bangladesh Government and UNHCR. Read more: Govt to issue health cards for all: Health Minister Although Cox's Bazar currently has a 250-bed Sadar hospital, 600-700 patients receive health care there every day, he said. “Patients are receiving treatment staying on the hospital floor as well. That’s why it is important to increase the number of beds in this hospital.” He said if this three-storied hospital can be turned into a 10-storied one , it will be possible better health services to 28 lakh local people and tourists. Read more: No unauthorised clinics in Dhaka city, health minister tells JS
A mentally handicapped youth was killed during a robbery at his family's premises in the Charpara area of Ramu upazila in Cox’s Bazar - but police and local administration are treating the incident with indifference. According to the deceased Meer Kashem's relatives, they tortured and murdered him after he caught them in the act. Faruk, son-in-law of Kashem's uncle Mohammad Ali, was injured in the incident as he tried to stop the robbers from taking away all the cows. “One of them shot at me but missed,” said Faruk. The hustlers tried to loot seven cows from the house but could get away with only two. Kashem's body was found in a nearby vegetable field the morning after the robbery. “He had gone missing following the incident. We discovered his body in the morning. Ropes were wrapped around his eyes-mouth, hands, and feet,” said Mohammad Ali. Officer-in-charge (investigation) of Ramu police station, Arup Kumar Chowdhury, went to the spot and sent the body for autopsy. But the family claims the police weren’t helpful in the incident. “One police officer used derogatory terms toward my ninth-grader daughter,” said Mohammad Ali. “They slammed us for calling the 999 helpline,” he added. In fact the police are reluctant to accept that Kashem's death was even related to the robbery. Anwarul Islam, officer-in-charge of Ramu police station, said, “The robbery occurred at night, but the body was found the next morning. We cannot yet say whether these incidents are related or not. We are investigating.” Zafar Alam, the local UP member, almost justified the killing with his comment: "As Kashem was mentally handicapped, he used to shout at unknown people. Maybe he saw them in the night and started shouting. That’s why they tortured and killed him”. Livestock theft has increased at Ramu upazila in recent times. Five days ago five cows were looted from another house in the same upazila. Read more: Teen worker dies jumping out of spa during DNCC drive
Although there are more than 500 hotels, motels, and other residential establishments in Cox’s Bazar, only four of these have their own Sewerage Treatment Plant (STP), which is turning the tourist city into an open gutter. According to Abu Sufian, an Additional District Magistrate who is also the In-charge of the district administration’s tourist cell, only three five-star and one three-star hotels in Cox’s Bazar have STP systems. “There are eight more luxurious hotels which don’t have STP. We’ve told the star-labeled hotels to establish their own STP and have decided to bring the existing hotels under a centralized STP system,” Sufian said. Saiful Islam, Assistant Director of Department of Environment in Cox’s Bazar, said that the government has asked more than 300 hotels to set up STP system regardless of the fact that most of these hotels don’t have space for STP. Read more: JS body suggests stern action to prevent illegal sand extraction in Cox's Bazar “Most of the hotels adjacent to the beach have been constructed without following environmental laws, and bad smell coming out of the excrement released from these hotels is resulting in the loss of tourists. That’s why the district administration in association with Cox’s Bazar Development Authority, Cox’s Bazar municipality and Department of Environment have jointly agreed to establish a central STP system,” Saiful said. Mohammad Junaid, General Secretary of Cox’s Bazar Forest and Environment Protection Council, said that the government should ensure that any new infrastructure in Cox’s Bazar is set up after receiving clearance from the environment department.
Armed terrorists kidnapped eight people from a stream inside a hill in Jahajpura ward no 6 under Cox’s Bazar’s Teknaf upazila on Sunday. The kidnappers have demanded Tk 3 lakh for each of them as ransom, said family members. Read more: 16 Rohingya including children and women detained in Sreemangal Those kidnapped are Mohammad Ullah, son of Rashid Ahmad, Mostafa Kamal, son of Syed Amir, Md Ridwan, son of Mamataj Mia, Selim Ullah, son of Rustam Ali, Krim Ullah, son of Syed Amir, Nurul Haque, son of Kader Hossain, Nur Mohammad, son of Nurul Haque and Md Absar, son of Rashid Ahmad. All of them are residents of Jahajpura ward of the upazila. Md Rafiqul Islam, a member of Jahajpura No 6 ward, said eight people including three college students went to catch fish from the hilly stream when they were kidnapped by armed terrorists. Read more: Cases filed against 78 people over Rohingya deaths in 'gunfight' Md Abdul Halim, Officer In-charge (OC) of Teknaf Model Police Station, said that a large police team has been conducting a drive to find out the terrorists. “We’ll conduct combing operation if necessary if we can get the location of the terrorists,” said the OC.
The next general election of the country will be held in the first week of January in 2024, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina declared it at a public rally here on Wednesday. Addressing the huge rally at Sheikh Kamal International Cricket Stadium here the prime minister reiterated her call to the people to vote for her Awami League party to sustain the country’s development momentum. “I am urging all of you to cast your vote for the symbol of Boat,” she said. The jubilant people raised their hands when Hasina, who is also the president of Awami League, asked them if they will vote for her party. She expressed gratitude to the crowd. The rally, organized by Cox’s Bazar Awami League, was presided over by its acting president Advocate Faridul Islam Chowdhury. Read more: Next national election by Jan 29, 2024; EVMs to be used in 150 constituencies Hasina said that the ruling AL was able to come to the power for three consecutive terms as the people gave their verdict in favour of Boat, the party’s election symbol. “From 2009 to 2022 there is a democratic process in the country leading to unprecedented development in the country. Bangladesh has got recognition as a developing country,” she said. At the outset of the rally, the PM inaugurated 29 development projects, and laid foundation stones of four schemes involving Taka 1963.86 crore. PM Hasina highlighted a number of her government has launched to mitigate the woes of the lower middle class and low-income people declaring that as long as she is in power it is her responsibility to look after the welfare of the people of this country. “As the daughter of the Father of the Nation, it is my duty to look after your welfare as long as I am in power,” she said. Read more: Next general election to be held first week of 2024: PM Hasina announces at Cox’s Bazar rally She once again slammed BNP and its ally Jamaat for causing miseries to the people. “Arson terrorism, killing, murder, looting, money laundering, smuggling country’s money to abroad, smuggling these all they can do,” she said. She also mentioned that Khaleda Zia embezzled the money of an orphanage and for that reason she had been convicted of corruption for ten years. “And her son Tarique Rahman, known for siphoning off country’s money, had been convicted for seven years and a fine of Tk 20 crore as fine,” she said about trial by court. Sheikh Hasina also mentioned that Tarique Zia was involved in arms smuggling on board 10 trucks. “I do not know for what purpose he brought those arms,” she asked. The AL chief said that in August 21, 2004 Khaleda Zia and Tarique Zia and their companions had hurled grenades, which are used in wars, on AL rally leaving 22 AL members dead. “But I narrowly escaped with the grace of Almighty Allah,” she said. She said that BNP always pampers looters, militants, siphons off country’s money and killl people through arson attacks. “Can a human being kill another human with fire?, she asked. This movement of BNP, Tarique Zia and Khaleda Zia is aimed at killing people through arson attacks. They do not know anything without destruction,” she said.
A four-day International Fleet Review-2022 with participation of Navies and Maritime Organisations from 28 countries including Bangladesh will begin at Inani of Cox’s Bazar on Tuesday. Bangladesh Navy is organising the IFR on the occasion of birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the Golden Jubilee of independence of the country. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to formally inaugurate the IFR 2022 on Wednesday and review the fleet as chief guest. Read more: PM inaugurates, lays foundation stones of 35 projects in Chattogram It will be the first ever IFR in the country with participation of so many countries including the USA, UK, Germany, Italy, Saudi Arabia, India, China, Korea, Indonesia, Turkey and the Netherlands. According to the Navy website, the IFR 2022 will serve as an ideal platform for world’s Navies to showcase their prowess, naval diplomacy, goodwill and cooperation in the international arena. The Navy headquarters expect that the International Fleet Review will be a great opportunity for Bangladesh in general and Bangladesh Navy in particular to interact with world Navies in Bangladeshi waters, promote tourism and infrastructure development in the coastal areas of the country. Read more: Newly commissioned officers should be ‘soldiers of 2041’, building Bangladesh: PM at BMA The broad schedule of the events includes Inauguration followed by a Beach Parade, glimpses of Special Force’s activities at sea and Fleet Review. Cultural events participated by foreign participants and International Food Festival will also be there to showcase the diverse culture and rich traditions of Bangladesh and the participating countries.
A Rohingya man was shot dead by some unidentified miscreants at Teknaf upazila in Cox’s Bazar on Monday night. The deceased was identified as Mohammad Salam, 26, from Musni refugee camp in Teknaf, said Abdul Halim, Officer-in-Charge of Teknaf police station. Read more: Rohingya leaders shot dead in Cox’s Bazar Three unidentified men took wounded Salam to Kutopalong Hospital at Ukhiya where doctors announced him dead on arrival, said the OC. The men who took Salam to the hospital fled the hospital, he said. Salam was sued in two cases for drug peddling and murder, said the OC.
The fishing community of Cox’s Bazar is very happy with business catching Hilsa in swarms. Fishing trawlers are returning to the shore full of Hilsa and other fish, bringing down the prices to a tolerable level. Once deserted fish warehouses and markets of the district are now buzzing with fishermen, traders, and buyers from morning to night. Visiting Cox’s Bazar Fisheries Landing Station, UNB found the place in a celebratory mood. After the onslaught of Cyclone Sitrang and a 22-day ban on Hilsa catching, hundreds of fishing trawlers are arriving at the station with tons of Hilsa every day. Read More: With Hilsa catch declining, Bagerhat fishermen stare at penury No one seems to have time for doing anything else at the landing station. Some were loading the fish into warehouses, some were breaking ice while others were arranging the fishes in baskets. Many traders were also seen sending truckloads of Hilsa consignments to different parts of the country after getting expected prices.
The security situation in the Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar keeps going from bad to worse. Last week, three more prominent members of the displaced refugees were killed within three days inside the camps by unknown assailants. The method and targeting behind the killings suggest the involvement of a militant group, the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, or ARSA. Two of them acted as the head majhi and subhead majhi of one camp, while the other was known to be vocal against the ARSA. Just the previous week, yet another prominent leader of one of the camps was shot, but survived. Read: No good news yet from Chinese side on Rohingya repatriation: Momen Including the latest killing, 14 people have been killed inside the camps during the last four months, of whom eight were serving in voluntary community leadership roles such as ‘majhi’ and ‘head majhi’. After a lull that followed a security clampdown prompted by the killings of prominent Rohingya leader Mohibullah in September 2021, it would seem the destabilising forces have become newly emboldened to carry out their activities. This obviously doesn’t bode well for Bangladesh as it looks to start the process of repatriating the hapless refugees back to Myanmar, for which Foreign Minister A.K. Abdul Momen met with Chinese Ambassador Li Jiming this week. Four years ago, Bangladesh and Myanmar signed an agreement for starting repatriation of the Rohingya refugees to Myanmar under a tripartite mechanism brokered by China, but the process remains stalled. Unfortunately, it couldn’t quite be described as a fruitful meeting, as the foreign minister was only able to come away with reiteration of some previous commitments. The current Myanmar government honours all the previous agreements signed between Dhaka and Naypyidaw and expressed willingness to take back the Rohingyas ‘after verification’, Momen told reporters following the meeting. Given that is the case, the deteriorating security situation in the camps is likely to be seized upon by the Myanmar government as a reason to keep stalling. The foreign minister also noted that no prospective date was discussed as the starting point for repatriation, which in any case is expected to be a long, drawn-out process once it starts. Read: Another Rohingya stabbed to death inside Cox’s Bazar camp With no sign of repatriation combined with a lack of economic opportunities and the difficulty in maintaining law and order in overcrowded camps, frustrated Rohingya are increasingly becoming involved in criminal activities or being targeted by criminal groups. They are also taking part in trans-border crime, including human trafficking, extremism, and arms smuggling and the camps can be a potential base for extremist activities and the insecurity in the camps and border could create insecurity for South Asia. Though Bangladesh has taken several measures to ensure the security of these displaced people, it is tough to maintain law and order in the densely populated camps near the border. Therefore, the safe, sustainable, and dignified return of these displaced people is the only solution. Rohingya refugees have also expressed their desire to go home. Not just Bangladesh and Myanmar, but rather the international community, should act together to facilitate Rohingya repatriation to ensure the security of the displaced population as well as the region before it’s too late.