Stranded Rohingya: India to work with neighbours

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New Delhi, Jan 22 (IANS) In the wake of reports about 31 Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar being stranded at the India-Bangladesh border, the government on Tuesday said it will handle such matters through mutual consultation with neighbouring countries.

“The government is aware of the presence of 31 persons originally from Rakhine State in Myanmar, currently at the Zero Line on the India-Bangladesh border,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in response to queries.

“While their documentation and claims are being examined, necessary shelter, food and materials are being provided to them by forces guarding the Indian border,” Kumar said.

Referring to media reports of alleged movement into Bangladesh by some persons, he said: “Government is not a party to such movements. We will work with our neighbours to handle such matters through mutual consultation.”

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These 31 Rohingya Muslims have been stranded since Friday at Zero Line on the India-Bangladesh border with western Tripura.

A meeting between the Border Security Force (BSF) and Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB), supposed to be held on Monday, did not take place.

“We are waiting instructions from the BSF headquarters in Delhi about the next course of action concerning these 31 Rohingya Muslims,” a BSF official, who refused to disclose his identity, told IANS in Tripura late on Monday.

Deputy Inspector General of BSF, Brajesh Kumar, told the media that the BSF has been providing food and other basic necessities to the six men, nine women and 16 children on humanitarian grounds.

According to the Bangladeshi media, the BGB Commanding Officer Gomal Kabir has alleged that the BSF has been pushing Rohingyas into Bangladeshi territory. The BSF has rejected the charge.

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