Noakhali SP says two or three Rohingyas injured during demonstrations, while Bhashan Char project director says four or five individuals were hurt
Following the violent demonstrations on Monday, the Bhashan Char island, home to about 18,000 Rohingyas relocated from the Rohingya refugee camps, is quiet and normal now, top government officials told Dhaka Tribune on Tuesday.
A group of Rohingyas staged violent demonstrations on the island during the visit of two senior officials of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) -- Assistant High Commissioner for Operations Raouf Mazou and Assistant High Commissioner for Protection Gillian Triggs.
The Rohingyas were complaining about the low quality of food served to them, lack of income-generating activities, and food rationing. The demonstrators reportedly attacked two markets, the office of the camp-in-charge, fire station and warehouse with local weapons.
Alamgir Hossain, superintendent of police (SP) in Noakhali district, who is responsible for law and order in Bhashan Char, reiterated his claim that no force was used against the demonstrators.
Commodore Rashed Sattar, the director of the Bhashan Char project, also said that no force was used to contain the violence created by the Rohingyas.
Meanwhile, according to an intelligence source, the violence on Monday was planned and there might have been instigation from outside.
“The situation in the island is quiet and peaceful now,” Bhashan Char Project Director Commodore Sattar said from the island.
“There was no use of force against the demonstrators. Four or five people got hurt by the brick bats they threw at the infrastructure. Of them, only one person, who got hurt after being chased by the police, needed a stitch or two,” he added.
When asked about a UNHCR statement on the injuries sustained by people including children and women, Commodore Sattar said: “This is not correct. I don’t know where they got this information from.”
Asked if Monday’s development would somewhat discourage the UN to engage in Bhashan Char operations, he said he didn’t think so.
“We didn’t use any force. We just prevented them [the Rohingyas] from causing violence,” said Noakhali SP Alamgir Hossain.
In reply to a question, he said: “Two or three people got injured during the violent demonstrations on Monday. The situation on the island is quiet and normal now.
“The present strength of police is around 250 personnel, and it can be enhanced if necessary,” the SP said.