Bhashan Char, MINA – At least 27 Rohingya refugees have been missing after their boat sank during an attempt to escape a Bangladeshi island camp, Al Jazeera reported.
After the incident on Saturday, the United Nations refugee agency said it “remains concerned about reports of refugees being arrested and detained for attempting to leave Bhashan Char”.
Bangladesh eventually wants to rehouse 100,000 of its approximately one million Rohingya refugees to the island, moving them from cramped settlements on the mainland.
But some Rohingya say they were coerced into relocating, while thousands protested against living conditions on the island in June.
Police said the small fishing boat sank with 41 Rohingya on board after encountering rough weather in the Bay of Bengal near the island.
“Refugees were on board the boat when it capsized late last night. Some 14 of them have returned unharmed,” said Mahe Alam, the police chief on the Bhasan Char island as quoted from Anadolu Agency.
He added a joint rescue operation conducted by police, coastguard, navy and air force is still ongoing to reach out to the missing ones. (T/RE1)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)