The law enforcement and the intelligence agencies are looking for two Moulvis (Muslim religious leader) in the Cox’s Bazar refugee camps who are allegedly telling the Rohingya people to not go back to Myanmar.
The two Moulvis were identified as Moulvi Shafiq Ullah and Moulvi Omar Faruk. Dhaka Tribune found the names after speaking with several personnel of law enforcement agencies and intelligence agencies who are working at the Rohingya camps.
The high officials of security agencies and local administration did not confirm the two names directly but they did disclose that some people are working around the Rohingya camps promoting that agenda.
“The two Moulvis are spreading misinterpretation of the situation among the Rohingya people,” several personnel from the intelligence agencies said; seeking anonymity.
“The two religiously dressed persons are also trying to motivate the displaced people not to go back Myanmar’s Rakhine saying that the Rohingyas would be tortured again by Myanmar government and its army if they go back.” the detectives said.
What the authorities are doing
The intelligence agencies managed to collect primary information about the Moulvis; they are looking for detailed information.
Officials from Cox’s Bazar district police’s special branch and detective branch assumed that the two Moulvies are Rohingyas who have been living in the country for a long time; that’s why they have a strong network with both locals and the Rohingya communities.
They used to sit at the mosques at the deeper parts of the camps which are in the hilly area and join in Waz (religious gathering). During religious speeches, they talked about the ongoing Rohingya crisis and said the situation is still unchanged in Myanmar, said the detectives, quoting Rohingyas.
When asked, Rohingya people from Kutupalang and Balukhali camps did not want to talk much with Dhaka Tribune over the two Moulvis saying that they did not see them but have heard about them.
Cox’s Bazar Police Super AKM Iqbal Hossain told the Dhaka Tribune: “Our law enforcers and detectives are working to find them. We have identified some people but we cannot disclose any information for the sake of the investigation.”
“The constructions of five police camps in the Rohingya shelters have almost been completed. With the start of the police camps, we can keep stronger vigilance over the movement of Rohingyas.”, he said.
Mid January, a number of Rohingya people protested against the repatriation process at a camp when United Nations special rapporteur Yanghee Lee visited the camps along the Bangladesh-Myanmar border.
The protesting refugees refuse to go back unless their safety can be guaranteed and Myanmar grants their demands to be given citizenship with inclusion in a list of recognized ethnic minorities.
They are also demanding that their homes, mosques and schools that were burned down or damaged in the military operation be rebuilt. The detectives found that some Rohingyas started the protest after being inspired by Moulvi Shafiq and Moulvi Faruk.
Bangladesh government’s Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commission said that 689,040 Rohingyas entered the country from August 25, 2017 to February 7, 2018, after being displaced. Aside from this, several lakhs of Rohingyas have been living at the two upazilas in Cox’s Bazar for many years.
Myanmar does not recognize the Rohingya people and forced many of them to live in squalid camps in poor conditions. Dhaka and Naypyidaw have signed an agreement to send the Rohingyas to their homeland. After signing a bilateral deal in November last year, the repatriation was scheduled to begin last month but got delayed.