Burma Deports 60 Boat People from Bangladesh
Cox'sbazar: Burma pushed back 60 boat people from Bangladesh on Tuesday from Maungdaw in western Burma's Arakan State after they were arrested at a beach in the Irrawaddy Delta where they were landed by traffickers who claimed they had arrived in Malaysia.
He said that there were also 86 Burmese Muslims along with the Bangladeshi men, who were arrested on beach on 3 April, 2011. All of the men were transferred to Buthidaung prison in Arakan State last month after their case was investigated.
The group was said to have departed from Korsugarh Port in Cox's Bazar on 21 March in a boat offered by local traffickers. Each of them had paid 50,000 Taka to the traffickers to be taken in the rickety boat by sea to Malaysia.
The deported Bangladeshi men are mostly from Teknaf and Cox's Bazar areas in southern Bangladesh.
According to sources in Teknaf, the Bangladesh border guard force arrested 35 out of the 60 men deported from Burma upon their arrival on the bank of the Naff River in Bangladesh, while the other 25 were able to flee the spot.
"The 86 Burmese are still being detained in Buthidaung prison on charges of illegally traveling and crossing the border," said the official.
He said most of the detained Burmese are from Maungdaw Township, but some have been living in Bangladesh for some time.
Many Burmese Muslims have been fleeing Burma to neighboring Bangladesh in search of work due to persecution and strict regulations imposed on them by the government in Burma.
According to the UNHCR, over 28,000 Muslims from Burma are registered as refugees in two official camps, while many others are living in squalid conditions in unregistered makeshift camps in Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh.
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