Monday, May 27, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

173 Bangladeshis return from Myanmar after serving time in prison

  • Arrived in Cox’s Bazar around 1:30pm
  • They were in different prisons in Myanmar
  • Among them, 29 were pardoned, rest completed jail term
Update : 24 Apr 2024, 02:56 PM

A total of 173 Bangladeshis have returned home after serving different terms in Myanmar prisons.

A Bangladesh Navy ship carrying these Bangladeshis from the Myanmar Defence Force's “Myanmar Naval Ship Chin Dwin” in the deep sea arrived at Nuniarchara Ghat in Cox's Bazar city at around 1:30pm on Wednesday.

Earlier at around 11am on Wednesday, a Myanmar delegation arrived in Cox's Bazar.

Upon reaching Cox's Bazar, the delegation proceeded by car from the ghat to Naikhongchhari upazila of Bandarban, where 285 members of the Myanmar Army and Border Guard Police (BGP) who had sought refuge in Bangladesh under the BGB, awaited them.

The delegation is scheduled to return to Myanmar on Thursday after accepting the members.

Saimum Sarwar Kamal, the Jatiya Sangsad Whip and Member of Parliament for Cox's Bazar 3 Constituency, arrived at the scene around 11am.

He said: "The return of those who have completed various terms in Myanmar prisons is the result of government efforts."

Out of the 173 returnees, 129 are from Cox's Bazar district, 30 from Bandarban district, seven from Rangamati district, with one each from Khagrachari, Noakhali, Narayanganj, Chittagong, Rajbari, Narshingdi, and Nilphamari districts.

Relatives have gathered at the ghat in anticipation of the returnees.

Cox's Bazar Superintendent of Police Md Mahafuzul Islam mentioned that the BGB will accept the returnees and hand them over to the police. Subsequently, after verification, the process of reuniting them with their relatives will be facilitated through the respective police stations.

According to sources from the Bangladesh Embassy in Yangon, the "Myanmar Naval Ship Chin Dwin" embarked on its journey to Bangladesh carrying 173 Bangladeshis on Tuesday. Among them, 144 have completed their prison terms, while the remaining 29 are being pardoned and brought back to Bangladesh through diplomatic efforts.

The Myanmar ship, which initially transported these Bangladeshis, will return to Bangladesh with 285 members of the Myanmar Army and BGP who fled to Bangladesh on Thursday morning.

The Myanmar delegation has departed the country to oversee the repatriation process of these 285 members.

The repatriation process involves individuals who fled on various dates, including 24 on April 19, 64 on April 16, 14 on April 14, three on March 30, and 177 BGP and army personnel on March 1.

Additionally, in early February, another 330 individuals sought refuge in Bangladesh in multiple rounds, with 330 of them being sent back to Myanmar on February 15.

Details regarding the acceptance of the returned Bangladeshis and the repatriation of the 285 individuals will be provided in a press briefing by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Dhaka after the process is completed.

Access to media personnel may be restricted during this time.

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